Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good to Great: Great People

A friend of mine's work woes have me thinking about business/management stuff. It is really hard for me to write coherently about this sort of thing, so I'm sorry for the particularly incoherent ramble.

Some day, I will figure out how to start a company of my own (or at least glom on to someone else's idea and be there at the beginning) and when that happens, smart, hardworking people will be my first hires. When people look at what helps companies go from good to great, it's all about hiring great people, and then putting them in the right positions. If a company doesn't hire and retain great people, then the company is screwed. Having the great idea is not sufficient. Lots of companies start with great ideas. The difference is that great companies hire great people, put them in the right places, and then let the team generate great ideas and drive the company in the right direction.

Anyway, here are some completely random thoughts:
  • Managers should be more interested in helping their staff be excellent than in their own glory. I don't care how smart a manager is. When it comes to managing, the most important thing is the ability to foster an effective work experience for your people.
  • If you are smart (or at least knowledgeable), hard-working, and ethical, others will recognize this and will want to do good work for and with you. Work hard and do good.
  • Communication is really important. Great decisions require great information. Very often, bad decisions are made because the right people didn't have the right information. Communicate effectively or accept that bad decisions will surround you wherever you go.
  • Make teamwork happen. Great execution is all about having a superior sense of team. Most people will work harder and better for a good team than when they feel like they are alone.
BTW: I'm not saying that I do any of these great things or have any of these great qualities, but I really appreciate them in others. My strategy is to work with smart, hard-working, ethical people, then try to blend in.

The Day
  • Workout: crunches and push-ups
  • Music: Beastie Boys, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M, Jean Michel Jarre

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