Principles: Table of Work Principles 7, 8 and 9 (part 12 of 14)


7. Remember That the WHO is More Important than the WHAT

  1. Recognize that the most important decision for you to make is who you choose as your Responsible Parties.
    • Understand that he most important RPs are those responsible for the goals, outcomes, and machines at the highest levels.
  2. Know that the ultimate Responsible Party will be the person who bears the consequences of what is done.
    • Make sure the everyone has someone they report to.
  3. Remember the force behind the thing.

8. Hire Right, Because the Penalties for Hiring Wrong Are Huge

  1. Match the person to the design
    • Thing through which values, abilities, and skills you are looking for (in that order).
    • Make finding the right people systematic and scientific
    • Hear the click: Find the right fit between the role and the person.
    • Look for pool who sparkle, not just “any ol’ one of those.”
    • Don’t use your pull to get someone a job.
  2. Remember that people are built very differently and that different ways of seeing and thinking make people suitable for different jobs.
    • Understand how to use and interpret personality assessments.
    • Remember that people tend to pick people like themselves, so choose interviewers who can identify what you are looking for.
    • Look for people who are willing to look at themselves objectively.
    • Remember that people typically don’t change all that much.
  3. Think of your teams the way that sports manager do: No one person possesses everything required to produce success, yet everyone must excel.
  4. Pay attention to people’s track records.
    • Check references
    • Recognize that performance in school doesn’t tell you much about whether a person has the values and abilities you are looking for.
    • While it’s best to have great conceptual thinkers, understand that great experience and a great track record also count for a lot.
    • Beware of the impractical idealist.
    • Don’t assume that a person who has been successful elsewhere will be successful in the job you’re giving them.
    • Make sure your people have character and are capable.
  5. Don’t hire people just to fit the first job they will do; hire people you want to share your life with.
    • Look for people who have lots of great questions.
    • Show candidates your warts.
    • Play jazz with people with whom you are compatible but who will also challenge you.
  6. When considering compensation, provide both stability and opportunity.
    • Pay for the person, not the job.
    • Have performance metrics tie at least loosely to compensation.
    • Pay north of fair.
    • Focus more on making the pie bigger than on exactly how to slice it so that you or anyone else gets the biggest piece.
  7. Remember that in great partnerships, consideration and generosity are more important than money.
    • Be generous and expect generosity from others.
  8. Great people are hard to find so make sure you think about how to keep them. 

9. Constantly Train, Test, Evaluate, and Sort People

  1. Understand that you and the people you manage will go through a process of personal evolution.
    • Recognize that personal evolution should be relatively rapid and a natural consequence of discovering one’s strengths and weaknesses; as a result, career paths are not planned at the outset.
    • Understand that training guides the process of personal evolution.
    • Teach your people to fish rather than give them fish, even if that means letting them make some mistakes.
    • Recognize that experience creates internalized learning that book learning can’t replace.
  2. Provide constant feedback
  3. Evaluate accurately, not kindly.
    • In the end, accuracy and kindness are the same thing.
    • Put your compliments and criticisms in perspective.
    • Think about accuracy, not implications.
    • Make accurate assessments.
    • Learn from success as well as from failure.
    • Know that most everyone thinks that what they did, and what they are doing, is much more important than it really is.
  4. Recognize that tough love is both the hardest and the most important type of love to give (because it is so rarely welcomed)
    • Recognize that while most people prefer compliments, accurate criticism is more valuable.
  5. Don’t hide your observations about people.
    • Build your synthesis from the specifics up.
    • Squeeze the dots.
    • Don’t over squeeze a dot.
    • Use evaluation tools such as performance surveys, metrics, and formal reviews to document all aspects of a person’s performance.
  6. Make the process of learning what someone is like open, evolutionary, and iterative. 
    • Make your metrics clear and impartial.
    • Encourage people to be objectively reflective about their performance.
    • Look at the whole picture.
    • For performance reviews, start from specific cases, look for patterns, and get in sync with the person being reviewed by looking at evidence together.
    • Remember that when it comes to assessing people, the two biggest mistakes you can make are being overconfident in your assessment and failing to get in sync on it.
    • Get in sync on assessments in a nonhierarchical way.
    • Learn about your people and have them learn about you through frank conversations about mistakes and their root causes.
    • Understand that making sure people are doing a good job doesn’t require watching everything that everybody is doing at all times.
    • Recognize that change is difficult.
    • Help people though the pain that comes with exploring their weaknesses.
  7. Knowing how people operate and being able to judge whether that way of operating will lead to good results is more important than knowing what they did.
    • If someone is doing their job poorly, consider whether it is due to inadequate learning or inadequate ability.
    • Training and testing a poor performer to see if he or she can acquire the required skills without simultaneously trying to asses their abilities is a common mistake.
  8. Recognize that wen you are really in sync with someone about their weaknesses, the weaknesses are probably true.
    • When judging people, remember that yo don’t have to get to the point of “beyond a shadow of a doubt,”
    • It should take you no more than a year to learn what a person is like and whether they are a click for the job.
    • Continue assessing people throughout their tenure.
    • Evaluate employees with the same rigor as you evaluate job candidates.
  9. Train, guardrail, or remove people; don’t rehabilitate them.
    • Don’t collect people.
    • Be willing to “shoot the people you love.”
    • When someone is “without a box,” consider whether there is an open box that would be a better fit or whether you need to get them out of the company.
    • Be cautious about allowing people to step back to another role after failing.
  10. Remember that the goal of a transfer is best, highest use of the person in a way that benefits the community as a whole.
    • Have people “complete their swings” before moving on to new roles.
  11. Don’t lower the bar.