The right people

If you’ve read the classic business book “Good to Great” then you are familiar with the depth of research Jim Collins and his team conducted in evaluating why certain companies were exceptional while others were average.

One common thread in the research pointed to the people involved in leading organizations. Perhaps that is obvious but the clear standout was, that in the end, it wasn’t the view that people were the strategy but rather, the right people were. To quote directly from the book:

“The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”   – Jim Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t)

It takes courage to accept this if you’re managing a team. The reason it takes courage is because many of us manage teams where we’ve built deep relationships and trust with our people but haven’t necessarily stopped to evaluate whether those same people are the ones that will get us to our goals or even beyond them. This isn’t a call to become paranoid or begin sacking people – it’s more to have us be honest and reflective, even about ourselves and whether we need changes made.

Sometimes it might mean moving those same people into other roles to maximize their skills. Other times it might mean replacing a team member. Either way, the emphasis is having the right people on the team that bring the depth of know-how and experience to challenge us and move us forward.


Can you honestly say that your team is made up of the right people? What gaps have you observed but haven’t addressed until now?

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