Picking the Right People to Power Your Business
Understanding people is the hardest endeavor known to mankind. People are wonderful, beautiful bundles of walking contradictions, confusions, and irrationality. Each of us is wired to be selfish, egotistical and greedy and the virtues that we do practice are learned and adopted only through failure and correction. Hopeless! But what’s the alternative? In order to achieve great things, we must partner with others. Alone we achieve little; together we accomplish much.
One of your tasks as the CEO is to pick the right people to power your business. Building an environment in which they can thrive — culture— is critical, but a culture without people properly aligned and focused is an oxymoron. Culture cannot exist without people, and people must be properly aligned with the culture for results to manifest.
Building such a team of people is inherent in the role that a CEO plays, and it is as much an art as a science. Hire the wrong person, morale crumbles and performance suffers. Bring on the right talent, performance increases and growth accelerates. Once the right people are on board, they grow and change, engage with new challenges and embrace the lessons of success and failure. This growth — while positive — can pose its own set of challenges.
CEO’s know, of course, that finding the right mix of skills, knowledge, experience, and culture fit can be a Herculean task. As with most tasks before us, though, being intentional about the end result produces profound results. That task belongs to you, the CEO, and no one else. While you may delegate specific tasks in the hiring process, and you should involve others who will work day-to-day with the new hire, the CEO must make the ultimate decision to bring a person into a carefully constructed cultural ecosystem.
Google's former CEO and co-founder Larry Page famously approved or rejected every one of the company's hires—over 6,500 people in 2017. When asked why he explained: “It helps me to know what’s really going on.” Google employs over 85,000 people on 6 continents, and its CEO still plays a personal role in each hire.
Richard Fairbank, the CEO of credit card issuer CapitalOne has more than 50,000 employees. He says: "At most companies, people spend 2% of their time recruiting and 75% managing their recruiting mistakes." If Richard Fairbank and Larry Page and a host of other CEOs think that hiring is important enough to be part of their daily routine, shouldn’t it be part of yours?