Smart leaders realize that almost every business is at heart a people business.
Success very often depends on finding a couple of top 1% performers and facilitating their success, primarily by staying out of their way and allowing them to win.
You don’t need a whole team of All Stars. Usually a few, if they are well-placed and complement each other, are enough to carry you to victory.
Recognizing a star is subjective. When you meet one you just know it. I can suggest a few indicators, although none of them are fool-proof.
- Show up on time and ready to go
- Ask the right questions
- Are evaluating you and your company at the same time that they are being assessed
- Focus on the work itself
- Are able to see the enterprise as a whole as well as their own place within that big picture
- Are polite, direct, crisp and don’t waste time
- Actually answer your questions
- Evince a rare mix of pride and humility
- Balance the “we” and the “I” factors nicely
- Can talk about their failures openly and analyze them objectively
- Show that they have grown up both professionally and personally
- Stay on topic
- Don’t get rattled by minor issues
- Know what is important