The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014 - (Page 36)

MANAGEMENT INSIGHT Why You Hire Employees Who Are Weaker Than You By Barry Moltz A t first glance, you think this is utter nonsense. You tell yourself that you are always looking for the best people. But you are sometimes afraid of anyone knowing more than you. You like being the only expert. Ironically, it's not enough just to be the boss. You want to know more than anyone else about everything so you can have daily control. This applies to knowledge about your industry, customers and all the inner workings of your credit union. As a result, you hire only weaker "B" players who will be happy to work in supporting roles. Predictably, your "B" employees hire "C" players, mimicking your hiring pattern. You wonder why your organization starts to crumble from the top down. You have failed to achieve exactly what you need to grow a business: leverage. You are unable to use other people's skills because they are so weak. As a manager, you still can't confidently delegate any of the important organizational decisions. In fact, you need to keep track of every major endeavor so it remains on track. You are the center of the universe You continue to use a hub-and-spoke organization where the all-important decisions must come through you. While the official organizational chart is hierarchical, the only real power center is you. Your employees constantly lining up in front of your office to ask your opinion on even the most basic business issues demonstrate this. In fact, they look to you in all decisions so they do not have to take responsibility. With you making decisions for them, they don't have to make their own - they know that somewhere along the way you will 36 You can't be everywhere - and unless you hire strong 'A' players, success will not follow. jump in and do their job. It makes you feel important, but it keeps you incredibly busy, with little time to accomplish your own tasks. This keeps your credit union stuck. To get unstuck, hire employees who are better than you This is how you need to change your hiring mindset. Get team members who have complementary skills in areas where you are weak or disinterested. For example, if you love dealing with customers, find a leader who can do all the back office management. Ultimately, you need to find joy - and relief - that there are people in your organization who can do a job better than you. Remember, this is what you are paying for as an employer. It is a tough realization for any manager to finally discover that she can no longer do every job in the organization. Get people who will challenge your point of view, if that's what it takes, to find an ideal business solution. Until you hire people better than you, the organization will never have the ideas and energy to expand the way it needs to in order to be successful. Let other people be the hub Implement a hierarchical decisionmaking process so actions can move forward without you. Your ability to get things done in a larger organization relies on hiring managers who are more skilled than you. As a leader, this is the only way to get the leverage you need to succeed. Letting go of total control is probably one of the most difficult transitions a manager needs to make. Truly successful leverage and growth in an organization happen when the top leader is able to grow the confidence to trust other managers. Ultimately, as your business expands, you can't be everywhere - and unless you hire strong "A" players, success will not follow. Practice the two-step Letting go of all tasks at once is not the solution. Going from total control to no control can send panic through the team. Instead, start the process by giving one strategic task at a time to your best person to complete. Help set the goal, how it will be achieved, what success will look like and its deadline for completion. Monitor the ongoing results. When this is successful, delegate more tasks to the same person, but this time have him determine how they will be achieved. As things progress, include other employees in a similar twostep process. Retain a meticulous process of review. Remember: People respect what you inspect. Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. His new book is How to Get Unstuck: 25 Ways to Get Your Business Growing Again. Moltz can be found at THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MAY-JUNE 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014

Voices & Opinions
Calendar of Events
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Business Talk
The Lending Landscape
The Social Life: A Social Media Roundtable
NAFCU's 2014 Annual Report
Getting to Know...
Management Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk

The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014