I really didn’t intend to write a series on management skills and popular songs but, after yesterday’s reference to “Love the One You’re With“ by Crosby, Stills & Nash, here we are today with staffing issues again and Paul Simon’s classic “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”*
We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats — and then they figured out where to drive it. 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.
First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world. …Second, if you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away. …Third, if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company. Great vision without great people is irrelevant.
…the good-to-great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience. Not that specific knowledge or skills are unimportant, but they viewed these traits as more teachable (or at least learnable), whereas they believed dimensions like character, work ethic, basic intelligence, dedication to fulfilling commitments, and values are more ingrained.
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free