As entrepreneurs, we need to make tough decisions all the time. Hiring and firing is one of the most critical decisions we need to make.
Do you know when the ship is sinking and when to cut? Do you know when to invest in training someone? Are you willing to cut a top performer who is damaging to the rest of the team? Do you actually assess a person against a set of core values which represent you and your company, or is it all just driven by sales and profits?
Champion team or a team of champions?
Knowing when to hire, fire and train are key skills of any leader and no one gets it right 100% of the time! In fact, the same applies in any sporting team. There are many sporting teams which often have superstars, yet the team is totally dysfunctional and yet we see winning teams with less raw talent who win premierships.
Some players fit in better and flourish in other environments. Most great teams have a mix of top talent and up-and-comers that have a great attitude and work ethic. There is also a list of washed-up athletes who had all the talent in the world yet their careers were cut short.
In business, getting a ‘read’ on people is tricky in a short amount of time, yet many entrepreneurs make quick hiring decisions (including myself in the past). Sure, ‘go with your gut’ to some extent, but I also try and focus on hard verifiable evidence and try and ignore the rest. I ask straight simple questions with verifiable evidence (call me Judge Judy) to demonstrate skills, performance and behaviours. I can then make a more informed assessment as to the likelihood of someone’s future performance in my environment.
While skills and experience are important in driving performance in many roles, values are what drive all future behaviours, along with helping shape and define your company culture. A person’s values decide the personality of your company and its future. Values determine what your customers, staff and suppliers think of you today AND tomorrow.
A ‘bad egg’ or behaviour incongruent with your core values is a great culture killer and a great way to keep future employees and customers running away from your company! Unfortunately, you can’t train values so easily. They are a function of a person’s make-up and you’re not running a business to be a parent and teach them how to behave.
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