One of the true measures of the growth of any leader comes from a good, hard look at the people they are hiring. Whole books have been written about how to hire, when to hire, and even who to hire. But not nearly enough has been written about the importance of leaders growing themselves through the people they hire.
When managers are new they are hiring people to work “under them”. And in most cases, they really do mean “under them”. As a new manager they are looking for people they can control and who will do things the way that they, the new manager, want them to. They look at the requirements for the job, and then through the endless stacks of resumes that have been handed to them and try and find the right person to fill the position. In other words, they are looking for the correct person to fill a specific need in their department. What these managers don’t understand is that their personal success as a manager is tied directly to the quality of people they hire. And not just how that person will perform today, but how they will perform in the future as well.
You’re only as good as the people you hire. - Ray Kroc
In the back of their minds, these new managers are often afraid that the person they hire will somehow outshine them and take away some of the luster of the manager's new found success. After all, a new face might mean a new hero, someone that the others in the department will turn to for solutions to their problems. But they are not looking for a new hero. After all, the new manager IS the new hero.
As managers grow and turn into leaders many of them begin to realize the value of having talented people working for them because hiring smart, talented people means less work for the manager. This is a big step in the development of the leader as they begin to look more and more outside of themselves for the answers to key questions.
But there is still a bigger step involved. It happens when the leader starts to look for people who are not just smart and talented, but people who are smarter and more talented than they are. This is a level that many leaders never reach. They are ok hiring smart, talented people, but people who are smarter than they are?
Wow… that’s a stretch.
Insecurities, usually unacknowledged, often stop a leader from making this leap. But the realization that they can take their career and their company to new heights by hiring people who are smarter and more talented than they are can propel them to that next level. Learning to listen to these smart, talented people means that the sky is now the limit.
It’s a tough lesson for most leaders to learn. But it’s a lesson that truly separates the great leader from the average leader.
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Until next time…..
ECI Learning Systems, LLC