Would you call Richard Branson a manager or a leader? Bill Gates? Richard Branson? Herb Kelleher? Great companies are led, not managed and that’s the truth behind my final Fundamental Rule for Serious Business Growth. Leadership is the ability to inspire others to be as good as they can be. So if you’re going to lead your people and your business towards serious growth, one thing you should never rush is hiring.
You’re only as good as the people you hire.
If your brand is your biggest financial asset, your people are your most important business asset. It just makes good business sense first, to find the right ones and second, to take great care of them. I truly believe from many years of employing hundreds of people that you can get the very best out of them if you give them the opportunity to be all that they can be. If you do this, they in turn will help your business be the very best it can be. Look after your people and you’re more likely to achieve Serious Business Growth.
No one ever arrives alone
I learned this lesson when I was very young and working for the Hilton Hotel Corporation in London. One day I was walking through the lobby of the Hotel and the Front Desk manager called out “Sims, come here”. This was his style. Well his style didn’t fit with how I wanted to be treated and I told him so: “You can call me Jack, Mr., Sims or Jackson, (which some people have called me) but never ever call me ‘Sims’ again or I will use your surname too.” He couldn’t believe I’d said it, but the fact is he never did it again. That’s when I started to learn how to look after employees: give them the respect you expect to be treated with yourself.
Hire someone for life or not at all
There is another side to my People rule, and this is based on a lifetime of experience in hiring and firing. The thing is that when you hire someone, you should be hiring him or her for life not for the short haul. And guess what, there are some people in your company right now who just shouldn’t be there. You may not know who they are, but I can assure you that the rest of your employees know who they are. Yep, you may have to fire some staff.
Employees come in three flavors
Employees are divided into three very distinct groups. The first two are growing your business. The third group is leeching the life out of it.
1. Your core management team. Let’s say they represent around 10% of your total staff.
2. Your workers. These are the majority of your people, representing about 75-80% of the employees and they are engaged with the business, doing a great job, day in day out.
3. Your nomads. Most companies have some of these. These are the people that turn up because they get a paycheck and the chances are that they already are listed on Monster.com. They wander from company to company, from job to job, not engaging with any of them.
The best thing that you can do for your company and for the majority of your employees is to get rid of the nomads. Even better, don’t let them in, in the first place. And you know what your employees will say when you fire a nomad? “What took you so long?!”
Hiring is a process not an event
Without a doubt, the very best thing you can do to lead your business is spend more time on hiring. Hiring is something that you have to be working on all the time if you want to see some serious business growth. Part of the hiring process is that you should have candidates interviewed by at least three different people to establish whether the candidate will fit into your culture. Your culture is an incredibly important part of your branding and can seriously make or break your success.