The Right People
Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss. – Lee Iacocca
At Blueprint, we’ve been blessed with tremendous growth and success since 2007 and I’m often asked what the secret has been. Without hesitation. 100%. Success in business begins with having the right people.
Who are the “Right People”?
To answer this question effectively, a small business owner must first clearly understand their mission, vision, and values. The right people will, of course, be talented and hard working. But what core values define your company that actually may or may not be true at another company? At Blueprint, we value integrity, humility, family, and unity. Everyone on the team knows that these values are more important than client results, more important than new sales, and more important than company growth.
With this in mind, we’re only looking for people who understand the importance of integrity. We’re even looking for people who refuse to work so hard their family suffers. We want people who will deflect praise to make another team member look good… and absorb responsibility to protect the person next to them.
So what does the “Right Person” look like for your organization? Is it integrity & unity? Compassion & gentleness? Work ethic & drive? Answer this question first, and then start listening…
Listen or Pay the Price
As the leader of one of the top digital agencies in Atlanta, I have urgent needs that demand my attention constantly. One of the greatest mistakes that I’ve made in business is not listening to the incredible talent that surrounds me. Even with the incessant demands and distractions in business, it remains imperative to consistently connect with – and to skillfully listen to – the people who constantly give their best. In every meeting, I’m looking for specific action items that will directly affect the success and quality of life for our team. When I’ve paused to listen to my team, I’ve been rewarded with creativity, vision, wisdom, and so much more. A leader who listens is a leader who learns.
The Right People in the Right Seat
Jim Collins in his revolutionary book on leadership – “Good to Great” – talks about getting the right people on the bus… and then finding the right seat for them. This is important to understand on two distinct levels. First, it’s important to recognize the prerequisite of “right person” before the “right seat”. Though this is really the main premise in the analogy, it’s also key to not overlook the second step. You have to get the “right person” into their “right seat”. At Blueprint, we have the luxury of being a full-service agency that includes creative, programming, video production, copywriting, project management, and much more. This affords us the flexibility to cross-train team members in multiple disciplines to see where they are most successful. If someone is the right person, but isn’t experiencing fantastic success in their position, we try to adapt their job description in order to maximize success. The truth is – if the “right person” is on the bus, but they’re not in the “right seat”, they’ll eventually go to another bus!
Make or Break
The people on your team will make you… or break you. We’re just beginning 2015 and I’ve never been happier to spearhead the growth of Blueprint. It’s not because of sales – which are up… or client results – which are unprecedented right now… it’s because of the people. Without exception, we have a team of motivated, talented, hard working people who refuse to compromise on integrity, family, humility, or unity. I fully expect the greatest year of growth in our history because there are a lot of great people on this bus… and they’re in the right seat.