Do you believe in surrounding yourself with people who are smarter or better than you at least in some way? Good for you! That shows that you are secure, mature and probably smart in your own ways as well! Intuitively, we all know that surrounding ourselves with people better than ourselves in some aspect or other is what we ought to be constantly doing. It makes for better ideas, more innovation and brings a freshness to the culture which might not otherwise exist. Unfortunately, many bosses don’t have the emotional security to make sure that they are constantly surrounded by people smarter than themselves in some way. This lack of emotional security is also behind why some great people are never promoted, and why CEOs tend to pick dummkopfs to succeed them. A mature and effective leader deliberately picks out people who are better at marketing, better at sales, better at IT solutions, better at Supply Chain Management, to be on his team. He doesn’t delude himself with the idea that he knows everything, or that he always has the best solution to any problem or situation. His Dy CEO might constantly have better ideas. His Personal Assistant might be pretty sharp in getting peoples’ buy-ins, too. So how does a leader, a CEO, remain relevant?
Well, by doing exactly that – getting more talented people on the team, and giving of himself for their personal and professional development. In many ways, a CEO is like a General Manager, or GM. The exception is that a GM tends to be much more hands-on than a CEO needs to be, or should be. The CEO is there to set and maintain course for the company based on continuous inputs from the experts in the leadership team which either confirm his intuitive direction or give him something else to think about and decide upon. In the latter case, the CEO may decide to change course or chart out a new journey altogether. Having great people on the leadership team, indeed, throughout the company, helps the CEO to grow by constantly having challenges and fresh ideas thrown at him. If the CEO can’t take that, it’s time for him to go.
Maybe you’re not the one in charge. Do you trust the one who is – the company’s brain? Do you have a working relationship where you constantly challenge and encourage each other to become better at what it is you do? If so, then you are on the way to greatness, or you’re there already. If not, what are you doing about it, no matter what your position happens to be?