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Leadership Thought #351 – Surround Yourself with Good People

May 10, 2012

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People will make or break your business.  The best leaders intuitively understand this reality and surround themselves with the best talent possible.  You can only ever accomplish so much alone.  Achieving anything of significance usually requires leveraging the skills, talents, and relationships of others. You need to be less worried about being the smartest person in the room and more focused on the collective intelligence of your organization.  Over time, your own IQ ends up being the average IQ of the ten people you spend the most time with.

However, it’s not enough that you have smart capable people working for you. They must also have solid personal values and put the interests of the company ahead of their own.  Organizational culture starts at the top and is simply a reflection of how people in critical leadership/management positions behave and treat one another.  You set the standard and everyone else follows your lead.  When in doubt, you should always opt for cultural fit over individual talent.

High performing organizations certainly respect and value the contributions of the individual but also strive equally hard to create an overall sense of teamwork and interdependence.  Good people working towards a common goal as a team will always trump the exploits of any one individual.  Surround yourself with the right people and the bar will end up being raised higher than you could have imagined or accomplished on your own.