One the greatest obstacles we face as leaders is our own insecurity. We feel like, in order to lead, we have to be the best player on the team. Not true. Great leaders hire great people. People who are better at what they do than what the leader is at what he does. The courage to hire like that is rare. The willingness to acknowledge it publicly is ever more rare. I’m not talking about hiring prima donnas. We’ve all had our fill of team members who THINK they’re great. People like that often need to be coddled or flattered or always in the spotlight to be happy. I’m talking about super-talented, committed team members who add incredible value by doing their jobs in phenomenal ways…and the excellence of their work is their reward. You SHOULD reward them of course, and reward them WELL. And you should hire as many of them as you can.
How can you tell who your great hires are? Here’s a few clues:
They’re self-motivated. The last thing you need is one more person to light a fire under. Great team members keep their own fires lit. They work hard, they work smart. They initiate projects and they see them through to completion. You always feel they are rowing with you to move the boat downstream.
They bring ideas to the table. The employees that I’ll pay the most for are the ones who add value by bringing great ideas that help us advance the ball down the field. Really good hires do this for their own area of ministry. GREAT ones bring ideas that advance the whole church. Anyone can bring problems to the table. Great team members bring ideas and solutions.
They push you. Probably the most annoying thing about great hires are they push you out of your comfort zone. They are not afraid to challenge your ideas, methods or systems that you are comfortable with. I’ll be honest, I don’t always like that. Great, competent team members think they’re right…just like you do. That confidence can sometimes come off as insubordinate or arrogant. But the fact is, sometimes they’re right. And frankly, I don’t mind having a team member who has just a touch of arrogance as long as they’re able to play nice when the decision is made and doesn’t go their way. Just a couple of people like this on your team will make you a better leader. They will do a LOT more for you than a room full of “yes” members.
Seth Godin recently made this statement in a blog post: “We are each the average of the people we hang out with and the experiences we choose.” That’s why we need to make our team as strong as possible. That’s why we need to be meeting with and networking with the BEST that we can find. That’s why experiences like Exponential and the HGC Leadership Network Gathering are so important. Hire the best and hang with the best. They’ll all make you better. It reminds me of the old adage “It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you work with a bunch of turkeys!”
Post contributed by Steve Chiles, Senior Pastor of Shartel Church of God, in Oklahoma City, OK. He is a coach and consultant with HGC, as well as, providing leadership with the Network Gathering.