Steve Jobs’ legendary hiring practices and recruiting philosophies — which he developed over the course of five thousand separate interviews — were iconically captured in the following quote (you can find more team building quotes here):
“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1.Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream … A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”
He was thoroughly convinced that the quality of the team was everything, and much more important than the size. Just like the special forces do for the larger military branches, elite teams can be the basis for stunningly large successes.
Hiring A+ Players
Hiring A+ players from the get-go is the easiest implementation of Steve Jobs’s advice, and crucially important for smaller businesses. If you’re a ten person firm, then each person represents ten percent of your company. Can you afford to only have fifty or sixty percent of your company operating at the highest level? Especially when eight out of ten new businesses fail in the first year of operation?
When hiring, do your best not to cut corners. Waiting an extra month or two for the absolute right candidate will almost assuredly benefit your company more than hiring early to fill a current need.
Elevating B and C Players
Just because some of your employees aren’t performing up to snuff, doesn’t mean you can’t have an A team. Evaluate your current team members’ skillsets and consider what you’re doing to inspire motivation. Here’s an insightful list of work motivators by researcher and author Dan Ariely.
Is there a skill gap? Then you might invest in some education for your employees. Matching refined skills to challenging work is one of the formulas for flow, the hyper productive and enjoyable state of being directly linked to feelings of contentedness.
Either way, it’s worth the extra effort to get your team up to speed. Moreover, it’s worth taking a look at yourself in this process. Are you performing at your best, or could you stand to improve in a few areas — remember that feedback sessions are essential. Sharing in the development process with your current team can be quite motivational and is sure to garner the kind of respect necessary to become a great leader.
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