ArtofManagingNote from Art: I shamelessly grabbed hold of the “you can’t scale bad people” line from some commentator on CNBC. While “bad” is a strong word, I agree with his intended meaning.

There’s no formula, no strategy, no approach to building a great business that allows you to short circuit the need for great people.

You don’t win in new markets, solve big problems, thump competitors and build offerings and services that delight customers with anything less than great people.

Yet, too often, we as managers tolerate poor performers, create “special rules” (aka double standards) for performance and fail to put the effort forth to find, engage and cultivate the absolute best people for today and for tomorrow.

Part of getting the success equation right is having the courage to make the tough calls on people for the right reasons.

  • Deal with those who don’t have the skills or heart to help form the future fairly and honestly. Don’t shirk your responsibility.
  • Invest relentlessly in those who can fit and have the heart to grow and develop. Your most loyal and productive people will come from the ranks of those you had the courage and grace to invest in and support.
  • People who don’t fit the values…don’t have the character and ethics your firm aspires to, never fit. Deal with them unwaveringly and expeditiously. No double standards allowed.

And if you’re stuck in that camp where the people in your firm are costs on an income statement and that’s all they are, you’re the problem.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

You can only scale with great people.

More Professional Development Reads from Art Petty:book cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

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An ideal book for anyone starting out in leadership: Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty and Rich Petro.