Surround Yourself With Great People

This is a guest post by Mark Thompson & Brian Tracy, authors of Now…Build A Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market.

“The best thing about giving of ourselves is that what we get is always better than what we give. The reaction is better than the action.”
— ORISON SWETT MARDEN

The greatest untapped natural resource and the most expensive in any organization is its people. Motivating people to make their full contribution to the organization is the fastest way that managers can multiply their personal effectiveness. It’s the only way to grow a great company.

This means that the greatest improvement in performance and in results can come from unlocking and unleashing the latent potential of the average person in the business.

The People Equation

Getting the people equation right is the hardest thing you will ever do in business. When discussing this subject with Mark, Charles Schwab leaned forward as if to confide a secret. “Your job as a leader is to find, attract, and develop other leaders. If you do that, your business will grow,” he whispered. “If you don’t, it won’t. It’s that simple.”

Chuck Schwab learned early in life to surround himself with people who not only shared his ambitions, but who were more gifted than he was in important parts of the business. If he wanted to make progress and get things done, he had to become a team leader.

Schwab discovered something entrepreneurs often realize when it’s too late: He had great talent in one area and not nearly enough skill in many other facets of his company. The only way to sustain his success was by finding, recruiting, and empowering others who had talents that he didn’t have. It is a skill that few entrepreneurs learn until they have a crisis that teaches it to them.

“Most entrepreneurs think that they’re brilliant at everything,” Schwab smiled wryly. “It’s never true. I thought I was a bright fellow,” he said (and he is!), but he admitted that he was “humiliated in subjects like literature and language.” The second time he flunked they nearly threw him out of college.

“When your name is on the door you are responsible, more than ever. But if you actually end up doing everything, then the business is in danger,” he said. If everything depends on you, the business can’t grow. If it’s all about you, you are just one traffic accident away from bankruptcy.

Until you can trust other people to carry the torch, your company can only get as big as your workweek. When you have found people you can groom to fill your shoes, “only then have you graduated from being an entrepreneur to a leader,” Schwab said.

Mark Thompson, author of Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market is a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company for $100 million and today coaches executives on how to lead growth companies. Co-author Brian Tracy is one of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness.