We heard an interesting comment this week from Ohio State’s new football coach, Urban Meyer. He said as a coach this time around he plans to stay in “center field”. He explained that staying in center field basically means to trust the people you have around you to do their jobs and not trying to control everything and every task in the organization or department. Meyer said when he was head coach of the Univ. of Florida he basically got involved in and tried to control every aspect of the organization and as a result became consumed by it. Bottom line, you have to hire the right people and you have to let them do the job without you being threatened by their success or worried that their work isn’t going to be good enough.
Now here’s the key. In order to stay in “center field” you must have a quality team. They have to be “A” quality and not moronic (see our blogs on Moronics). You have to be honest about who you’ve placed on your team when determining if they are “A” quality or not. We read this quote today by Scott McGregor – CEO of Broadcom… “I believe in having fewer, smarter people,” he says. “The very best people want to work with other great people.” And, quoting a maxim that was voiced by Steve Jobs, himself notoriously intolerant of underperformers, he adds: “‘A’ quality people hire ‘A’ or ‘B+’ quality people, ‘B’ quality people hire ‘C’ quality people, and ‘C’ quality people hire morons.”
Questions… Are you hiring or have you hired “A” quality people? Are you hiring “C” quality people or morons? Are you even able to hire “A” quality people? A typical response from managers and leaders that can’t attract “A” quality people is that we can’t pay them enough. Keep this in mind, “A” quality people will seek out “A” quality leaders and managers. An “A” quality employee will leave a “B” or “C” level manager or leader to make less money working for an “A”. Another response we hear from “C” quality people is we’re too busy or understaffed. Typically that statement will be untrue for 95% of the people saying it. Or if it is true, they’re just surrounded by morons. The current staffing trend by “A” quality leaders and managers is to hire fewer people that are smarter and better paid. Think about this… you can hire one “A” quality employee or manager that can do the work of two “C” quality people. Interestingly, the total employee cost will always decrease and production will always increase. When your “A” quality hires attract other “A’s” you can then prepare for the remarkable.
Surround yourself with “A” quality people. If you’re not “A” quality and you can’t seem attract them, then find one and see if she’ll hire you. Just a thought.