I spoke with a couple of dentists this week who both identified staffing as their number one practice management problem. The process of identifying qualified staff is time-consuming and puzzling. It’s all about getting the right people on your team’s bus.
I’ve never heard anyone address the importance of getting the right people on the bus any better than Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great. Collins explains the “bus” analogy, “If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
In other words, we need the right people as part of the business team before we can achieve a successful business. And if we have the wrong people on the bus, the odds are against us.
Collins proceeds to identify three truths that great leaders embrace.
1st. Begin with “who,” rather than “what.” With the right people as part of your team, you can overcome challenges and adapt to changes no matter what your industry or business.
2nd. “If you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away.”
3rd. “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.”
Wells Fargo Bank has a fascinating story about getting the right people on the bus. Clear back in 1970 (before some of you were born), then CEO Dick Cooley began building one of the most talented management teams in the industry. Cooley knew that great changes were coming to the banking industry, but he didn’t know what. So instead of trying to anticipate the change and create fabulous strategies, he focused on hiring outstanding talent whenever he could find them.
Cooley explained his approach, “That’s how you build the future. If I’m not smart enough to see the changes that are coming, they will. And they’ll be flexible enough to deal with them.”
Perfect Practice Principle #1: When in doubt, don’t hire—keep looking.
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