Personally, I feel people are more important than the business model. I have been a part of companies that didn’t have the best business models but they had unbelievable people. These amazing people are able to conquer the world. When you have these people working towards the same objective a team of 10 will operate like a team of 100. This is important in every organization in the world but certainly more important in small companies where there are only a handful of people.
The great people I am talking about have many different skills but if I had to really boil it down, they essentially have two core attributes: goal achiever and multi-talented. Many people will agree they can set goals or they can follow goals. I look for the people that always achieve their goals. Even better when they have created their own goals and achieved them. People whom set their own goals when no one but themselves hold them accountable are gold. This comes through in their personal and professional lives. The other core attribute is being multi-talented. People that are always juggling many things in their life. I love finding people that are in sales yet they also manage their company’s email. People that are accountants but they help with a marketing plan. Folks that are well versed across different disciplines are more like general managers. When you have multiple people like this in your organization, it runs like a well-oiled machine. Finally, show me a goal achiever that is multi-talented and I will guarantee that they are awesome problem solvers.
How do I find these great people? Like many things in life, this is a skill to be able to identify them and over time, you will get better at it. I look for people that have held leadership positions at an early age. People that played sports in college or went to the military are also good places to look. People that had to pay their own way through college or have worked multiple jobs at once to better their lives are great as well. Goal Achievers resumes will jump off the page because by their very nature, they are proud to talk about it and have the numbers hard wired into their brains. Multi talented are a little harder to find. It requires reading the resume and getting an idea or a vibe on what they have listed as accomplishments under their jobs. During the interview process, it is much easier to ask questions around these topics. Great candidates will have no problem coming up with goals they have set for themselves and how they have been able to achieve them. Just be careful to find goals that the individual accomplished over goals where they were only a team member. People that are wired this way will have many examples over the course of their life, not just one or two.
The best way to manage the great talents is to be very open with the vision of the company and what success looks like. The more open and transparent you are the more these folks will impress. When you have these great people at your company, let them be great! Give them more responsibility and just let them run.