Fast Lane: When the people who work for you are smarter than you

Fast Lane: When the people who work for you are smarter than you

It’s never the best feeling to be the dumbest person in the room, but when you’re hiring for your SME that should be your aim.

Time and time again when I speak to entrepreneurs about their tips for business success they say it all comes down to the people.

Yes, you have to be prepared to work bloody hard yourself, but you also have to focus on hiring great people to make up your team.

Chris Byrnes, co-founder of digital agency Klyp, says hiring people that are smarter than you is key

“Surround yourself with sharp minds and specialty knowledge,” he says.

“This is the backbone of a successful business, especially in the services sector as you can leverage expert skill sets across a variety of disciplines.”

But how do you manage these smarty pants?

As an SME owner you are probably used to doing and being across everything yourself but that doesn’t work as your business expands.

It’s also a waste of time if you have gone to all the effort of recruiting such super stars. 

In the latest Harvard Business Review, Wanda Wallace and David Creelman have some helpful tips for Leading People When They Know More Than You Do.

They say you need to move your focus to relationships.

Easily said, but how do you go about this?

A tip for doing this is to think about how you build your relationships with clients and apply that same approach to building your relationships with your team.

You don’t use the same approach with all clients so do the same with your team, get to know them as individuals and work out what they can bring to your business and what motivates and drives them.

Now instead of knowing what to do, you need to know who to ask.

Rather than telling your staff the answer, you need to bring them to collectively find the best answer.

Instead of doing the work the idea is to enable things to happen.

This includes knowing when to leave things alone and not interfere.

Of course this is bound to be tricky for many SME owners! 

Finally, Wallace and Creelman say you need to practice seeing the bigger picture, not mastering the details.

After all you’ve gone to all that trouble of hiring these smart people so they can nail the details.



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