Surround yourself with the best people you can find
Henry Ford once said: “I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people.”
I think it’s safe to say that Henry Ford had more than a mild degree of success. Love him or hate him, he rocked the world. We’ve heard in a variety of ways people saying that a leader should surround himself with people better than him.
According to leadership literature, successful leaders surround themselves with good people, but great leaders surround themselves with people who are even better than they are. But this is something not so simple to achieve.
How exactly do you go about cultivating this group of high potentials where everyone is talented, smart, and experts in many fields? While it may not be easy, a willingness to surround yourself with a team that is fully wired is a great sign that you’re ready to put aside your ego, a need for command and control and want to put the organisation before your self-interest. And that’s a key prerequisite to make great things happen in an organisation.
Hire the best
When considering an applicant for a top job, often we put aside a top resume because we think someone may be too expensive for our business or may have high aspirations. Sometimes you need to take a chance in order to surround yourself with the best people possible to find out just how much more effective you and your company can do and achieve with the right team. Good leaders enjoy listening to different perspectives and opinions, while weak leaders seek out yes men and women.
Develop potential leaders
Finding good people is only step one; developing them into good leaders they can be is step two. Leaders who cultivate potential leaders multiply their own success and individual effectiveness. Having strong smart leaders around you will help you to carry other loads and take the organisation to the next level.
Very often the people closest to a leader will determine the success or failure of that leader. Many people think that by developing potential leaders they could threaten their authority or position, but failing to inspire and build the talent in the company is a sure sign of a failed leader.
Environment of success
Top leaders create a strong environment of success where they live and work. So it is important to surround yourself with people who challenge you. Surrounding yourself with extraordinary smart people will open your eyes to new and bigger ideas. Informal mentors can also be very useful. Find someone with the traits and skills you want to adopt. Mentoring comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t have to be a formal relationship with a weekly meeting. It could be a Skype videoconference or chat or an occasional coffee date. In short, mentoring is just learning from someone more experienced whom you admire and respect. Leaders should never stop listening, growing, learning, and achieving. Leaders need to inspire and be inspired. That’s the hallmark of a successful leader.
(The writer is a company director.)