Get the Right People on the Bus
Around two years ago when I was making my Erasmus exchange in the University of Maribor, Slovenia while searching for materials in the faculty library I came across a book which title immediately caught my attention. It was called “Good to Great” written by Jim Collins. And honestly, for me it turned out to be one of those books that change your perspectives and this feeling was synchronizing with the entire experience that I was going through back then.
What I found amazing about this book were its’ really progressive ideas that grabbed me. His author Jim Collins explains how to turn a good company into a great one as he has invested almost quarter of a century researching on this topic and examining the performance of over 1 400 good companies.
One of the very key focuses of the book was about finding the right people in the company. In fact, the author discusses that it is not the purpose but the people who matter the most. He makes a memorable comparison between the company and the bus. He explains that to drive your company from a place where it is good to the place where it would be great managers should first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the buss and the right people on the key seats. He calls this approach – the “First Who” concept. He recommends that only after having the right people on the bus the CEOs should turn their attention on where they will drive the "bus". And really there is a lot of common sense in this concept. On one hand, If we have people who are not motivated, who don’t share the values of the company and doubt in its' success, whatever the destination or the final objective is, it is highly possible that they will detain the work or even give up when faced with a turmoil. While, on the other hand if we are surrounded by positive, motivated people, who believes and know that the company is the right place for them and want to be part of it, then they will give more from their enegry and try harder to get through difficulties. Moreover, knowing their capability the managers could set much higher goals. Because the future could never be 100 per cent predictable, they could not know all the issues that will come along the way, but with dedicated and disciplined team things could be solved much more easily and smoothly.
The studies realized by the author show that many of the best executives are concentrated first about “who” and then about “what”.
Another great thing according to Jim Collins about having the right people is that not only they will be motivated – they will be self-motivated. And this is the big difference between the right and the wrong people. While the wrong people could hardly be motivated at all, the right people don’t need motivation from outside simply because they will already have it. They should only to be put on the right place and that’s all. The researches for the book reveal that the great leaders didn’t invest in figuring out how to motivate or inspire. Their challenge was first to find the right people and then to be careful not to do some of the management mistakes that tend to demotivate.
As a conclusion, I think that Carmelo Kyam Anthony’s quote (a huge basketball player from the successful New York Knicks) is quite indicative: “I believe that you should put the right people around you, people that will not let anything go wrong.”