Free your talents

What’s the point in spending a lot of time and effort in getting the best people to join your team, if you’re not prepared to let their talents loose for the good of the company?

It sounds like a stupid question, but in reality it happens all the time; great people are onboarded with promises of exciting challenges and an opportunity to make an impact. And a few months later they leave again, disgruntled, hopes dashed and with a really poor experience of you and your company.

Except in cases of a bad hire, it is rarely the departing team members fault that things didn’t go according to plan. It’s mainly on you for not ensuring that they were provided with the guidance, tools and mandate to do what they were hired to do.

Often this comes down to the fear of losing control as a founder. After all, you and your co-founders built the company to where it is today, and it would be a real disaster for anyone to come and mess that up. It’s super understandable, and I get it. But you can’t think like that if you want your company to continue on its growth trajectory.

Instead you need to realize that you have limits. That there are other and better people out there at doing what needs to get done to get to the next level. And that your task is to persuade them to join your company instead of the competition. And then – basically – get out of their way. Within reason of course.

Personally, I have always found that you generate the best results when you’re brave enough to be ambitious in your recruitment and go for people that are better and smarter than yourself and then do your utmost to provide them with the freedom to operate. Why? Because when they deliver according to expectations – or maybe well beyond that – you and your company deliver as well.

So please, free your talents. Or they will move on to somewhere else, where they can.

(Photo by JoelValve on Unsplash)

You’re (likely) not a pro

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a new pair of shoes.

I don’t do that often – it’s kind of one yearly event – and I settled on a pair of ‘Nike By You‘ customized shoes. Not because I wanted to but because they were actually cheaper than some of the other models, I looked at.

Anyways, I started customizing. And because I didn’t want to customize, I asked myself:

“How can you make the most conservative shoe that goes with pretty much anything?”

The answer?

Make every choice as black or dark as you can. No frills.

So I did that. And I mused that the program had well over 5 billion combinations, when all I just ended up with was a black shoe.

Turned out, I didn’t.

I ended up with my shoe alright. But the devil was in the details.

A laze is not just a laze even if it’s black. And the lazes I had chosen, because I didn’t really bother and didn’t really give it the love, a custom design deserved, were a pair of lazes, I would otherwise NEVER choose.

My point?

I got a customized product that was customized indeed; a hodge-podge of various styles and parts that make them look like Frankensteins monster, and where my only comfort is that they are so dark, you won’t notice the weird choices, I have made.

Where am I going with this?

Even if you get the opportunity to design, chances are you will suck at it – unless you’re actually skilled or trained in it.

The same goes for any other craft, you obviously don’t really know anything about but where the combination of sheer naivety and stupidity combined with cool technology makes you think you’re a seasoned pro, where in fact you’re nothing but a full-blown amateur.

Do what you’re best at. And leave the other parts for the pro’s.

I’ll do that with the next pair of shoes, I invest in. Next year.

(Photo: Private)