Great people decisions. I guess that’s it.
Not a great idea, not lots of capital, not a genius founder.
All above things surely help at the beginning but later on it is about the people in the company and overall company culture.
Success of your company is directly linked to people decisions you make. Cost of bad people decisions is not only salary you pay but also opportunities lost and damage to your company culture.
Here is what I have learned during my years in business:
i) Hire slow, fire fast
More difficult you make it for people to get in, the better choices you will make. It is worth to spend your time on designing good process for hiring people.
With non-performers or people who don’t seem to fit to your company culture it is not good to spend too much time trying to improve what can’t be improved.
I don’t believe people change, so this is just waste of time and energy. And pain for everybody involved.
Whole process we use for hiring and firing people: Hiring and Firing I and Hiring and Firing II.
ii) Fish rots from the head You are setting the standards in everything. Whole company culture, the way company operates, the way your employees treat customers – it is all directly linked to you. If you skip deadlines, everybody does. If you don’t care, nobody cares. If you don’t work hard, guess what… nobody does.
Once you choose your senior people to lead others – they start representing company culture and its values. Here you must be very careful with people decisions as their standards will slowly within their teams replace yours.
iii) Values over performance
I prefer to hire people with values that fit to our company culture vs high performers. So far, we have been able to turn all people with right values into high performers but failed couple times to turn high performers into people that would fit into our company culture and strengthen us as a team. This said, you need to be clear on your values and values you want to instil into your company culture.
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