Short or Poorly?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

“It is better to be short-staffed than poorly staffed.”

–  A cornerstone of The Heston Group’s REELAX Leadership Model

It just is.

First, your best people will recognize if you’re keeping laggards around simply to fill a seat, and they won’t like it.  They’ll also know immediately, often faster than we will, when we hire someone who isn’t going to pass muster.  The best thing we can do for our strongest people is to make sure we’re not saddling them with people that will bring them down.

Second, especially if they’re Client-facing, weak, or destined-to-fail team members can do irreparable damage.  Choose your sports analogy — a lineman who can’t block gets the quarterback injured, a pitcher that can’t throw strikes takes the defense out of the game, etc — or whatever analogy you want to (imagine an orchestra with one violinist who’s a half-beat off), it’s clear – one bad apple really may spoil the whole bunch after all, with apologies to The Osmond Brothers and The Jackson 5.

Third, replacing people is difficult and expensive.  Better that we should do it more slowly and get it right than to rush through and get it half-right.  George Patton’s “a good plan today is better than a perfect plan two weeks from now” statement carries a lot of water with me, but not when it comes to hiring decisions.  Partly because the quote is actually “a good plan ruthlessly executed today…” and execution hinges on having the right people on the team.

Finally, include the team in selecting the talent that will ultimately join the team.  It will assure their investment in the new talent’s success, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how candid your team will be in de-selecting candidates that won’t be a fit — presuming you’ve got a strong team.

One corollary.  If the team isn’t strong, this concept applies to cutting people loose, too.  In other words, it’s better to be short-staffed than poorly staffed whether we’re adding talent or subtracting poor performers.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.