Do you remember growing up and noticing the different circles of friends in school? You also probably noticed that each circle influenced many of the activities its “members” involved themselves in, the people they came in contact with, whether they were considered popular or not, and many personal habits such as studying and staying out of trouble.
Success and The People You Surround Yourself With
The people you associate and surround yourself with have a direct impact on your success.
Now let’s fast forward many years. I am closing in on fifty, and nothing has changed. Success has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with and how well you can discern the right from the wrong people. In several of my recent articles, I referred to an owner who sold his business prematurely, losing about a quarter of its value. This is truly a blind spot for this CEO.
The business owner was a kind soul with hidden self-esteem issues. Because he had accomplished so much with a limited background, he believed everyone else could do the same. I believe he wanted to help everyone he met and meant well. The problem was that his bias toward surrounding himself with mediocre and unqualified people who never tried or succeeded at pulling themselves up by the proverbial bootstraps really inhibited his success and that of his company.
Are Your Workers Really Qualified?
Are you like my client? Are you the kind of person that likes everyone you meet? If they seem trustworthy on the surface, talk confidently, are nice to you, and freely offer you advice, do you offer them a job or take their advice even when they fail to have proper credentials?
My client was such a person. As a result, they had a COO whose biggest previous accomplishment had been to become a lead bartender. Other key people were also in positions that were way over their heads. These were not bad people, just not well matched for their positions and were not the right people for running a $15 million company that with proper staffing could easily have gone to $50 million.
Learn more about finding the right employees.
Recognize Loyal People
Are you giving opportunities to people that failed to earn or deserve them and not recognizing the risk that poses? Are you confusing sycophants with capable confidants?
I often find that when a leader falls into these traps, they wind up with selfish and manipulative underperformers that take advantage of generosity and make sure that their deceptions are well-hidden. When really good, smart, and qualified people came to such a company as employees or consultants, the first thing these parasites do is to make sure the newcomers do not stay long. They do everything they can to undermine the newbies’ success and make sure that their leader remembers who the loyal and trustworthy people are.
Learn how to find and keep high-performing employees.
Do you have a strong board of advisors? Do you have a good strong group of people outside of the company to lean on that help make sure you are not stuck in the wrong circle? Do you use outside advisors, coaches and consultants to challenge complacency and possible stupidity?