People Are More Important Than Ideas

people

In reading the works of Jim Collins, Peter Drucker, John Maxwell and others, as well as thinking of my own experiences, I have been struck by how important it is to have the right people in the organization. Jim Collins’ notion of “First Who, Then What” reiterates the fact that people are more important than ideas. The right people are not motivated by money. Yes, of course they need to make a living, but they are motivated by something far greater, namely learning, growing and making the organization successful and exceptional. Such people always do the right thing. They like to be trusted, given responsibility and they deliver exceptional results. They hold themselves responsible to a standard much higher than anything you can possibly ask for.

When you find such people, hang on to them. They don’t come often. Work to find the right seat for them. What should you do if you are not sure of someone? Take a pass. Wait until you find the right person. Character is the most important trait that I want in a team member. Nowadays most skills can be outsourced, but not character and integrity.

If perchance you happen to get a person who does not have character on your team, hope like heck, as Warren Buffett said, that they are stupid, because otherwise the consequences will be disastrous.

“Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” – Albert Einstein

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

Food for thought.

Verinder Syal, Author: Discover The Entrepreneur Within

Written by Verinder Syal
Verinder is the Principal at Thoughtful Simplicity, an award-winning teacher at Northwestern University, and the author of Discover The Entrepreneur Within.