In a previous article, “Why You Might Have To Fire Your Jack-Of-All Trades,” I explained that versatile employees able to perform in a number of capacities can be an asset during start-up, but can later become a significant obstacle to…
If you are going to get past a plateau, one of the most important factors is getting your key personnel on board. What often ends up happening is that a founder caps business growth by hiring people beneath his or her own competency level. That is, he or she doesn’t hire anyone with greater knowledge, productivity, experience or potential. Everyone ends up supporting the leader. When the highest level of possibility is encompassed in one person, growth, by nature, is limited. To counter this, founders have to remove the cap.
In 2003, sisters Jenny and Jane DeLaney launched a business that created customized meal plans and shopping lists for subscribers. The concept caught on, and the company grew quickly. When they’d accrued 100,000+ customers, the DeLaneys faced competition and a…
Think of five Major League Baseball players. Now, of those five, did you list Bill Hall, Ryan Freel, Michael Young, Omar Infante, or Jeff Baker? No? Probably because these are all utility players: they play a variety of positions competently,…
I often talk about the importance of hiring experts but I’m not suggesting you should fire all your loyal staff and start fresh. Sometimes you’ve got terrific employees already working for you. The challenge is to retrain someone who has been a Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades to prepare him or her for a particular role that specifically meets the needs of your organization.
What’s the best kind of executive to have on your team:
a) A Yes Man?
b) A Doubting Thomas?
The truth is that when you look around the board table of high growth companies, you see a wide variety of leaders, and that’s the way it should be. Having a yes person isn’t a problem unless the whole leadership team doesn’t challenge the owner or CEO. A Doubting Thomas can provide a great alternative perspective, but a room full of them means your company will get stuck in indecision and nothing will happen.
A successful leader will make sure to have a wide variety of voices around the table and be willing to hear those voices in an open and true forum.