Chapter 2: Mastering the right people doing the right things right

There are three basic decisions an executive team must make:

– Do we have the right people?

– Are we doing the right things?

– Are we doing those things right?

This chapter deals basically about getting the right people on the boat. The first question you must ask is „Do I have the right people?“ And a quick way to discern the answer is to ask yourself if you would enthusiastically rehire each person in your team. The second question to ask, especially regarding your executive and other key employees, is whether you think they have the potential to be the best in their positions three to five years from now. Get the right people in the right positions. Also important is getting the wrong people out as quickly as possible.

a) Hiring practices

The firms that get the best people tend to get a lot of people applying for each position and the general quality of the pool of people is so high that if you had to decide by throwing a dart at a list of potential employees you likely would  make a great decision. If you want to go by referrals ask referrals from A-people because they usually surround themselves with A-people. If you go by applications get at least 50 high quality people to choose from.

b) Selection process

Given how badly many people conduct interviews, you would be better off throwing darts at a dart list. Testing is considerably more accurate and objective than interviewing and should always supplement the interview process. Many best-run firms have long several hours of formal testing, taking the applicants to lunch etc. to get to know their abilities and them better. The applicant should be in line with your core values.

c) The right things right model

The key questions in this model are „Do you have a viable economic model?“ Or, more bluntly, can you ever make real money doing what you are doing? „Do you have a product or service that enough customers value to make a viable business?“ „Can you be the best in your chosen sandbox“? “Do you have the management practices and processes to take advantage of the market opportunity  you are pursuing?“ “Dou you have the habits and disciplines in place to maintain your competitive advantage?“ “Is your organization structured properly to maximize the productivity of the employees?” “Can you deliver consistent service or product offering?” You know you are doing the right things when revenue or market share – or both – are growing at twice the market.

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