Why do CEOs hire people backwards?

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Guess what Apple, Disney and Harley do? At these companies, the employees are there to achieve the shared true north (WHY, dream, vision, etc.) as a member of a committed team. There is a deployable strategy being executed and everyone (internal and external), everything (all structure) and 100 percent of the focus is on bringing that true north to the market.

There will always be opportunities for improvement in this changing world, but the “happiest place on earth” or “making a dent in the universe” or the “ultimate driving machine” will continue to be the true north for Disney, Apple and Harley where the improvement is in how customers experience the true north.

When CEOs decide to get the right people on the bus, the focus is on the people, their skills, their ability to grow, contribution, lead and follow, plus any number of other well-meaning measures.

This CEO finds the BEST person to put on the bus and then learns if that person is aligned to the company’s true north and improving the CEO’s brand or this is the most money someone has offered them and they are working for the money.

This CEO has to get this person to play well with others, and to keep them all motivated without the benefit of a compelling true north. Great people often have “their way” to do things that may or may not align with the true north.

The CEOs who built a business with a compelling true north get great people chasing the bus just to have the chance to get on to help attain and improve the shared true north. Their seat on the bus is aligned to the dream and they are focusing all their efforts on being a member of a team with a common true north.

This second way to hire creates a great place to work where the people are self-motivating and creative both as individuals and as team members. This team accomplishes great things for the customer, the team, themselves, and the bottom line because of the true north.

Five revenue strategy questions

  1. What is our brand promise?
  2. What’s the customer “problem” that we solve that no one ?else solves?
  3. What niche/s do or will we dominate?
  4. Who is our ideal customer?
  5. Which are our key offerings for dominating the niche?

Until a CEO can answer and deploy the five revenue strategy questions, they have no choice but to hire backwards.

The hidden benefit in answering and deploying the five revenue strategy questions is that the answers launch the CEO and the organization toward the true north that has great people “chasing the bus.”

Who do you know that would work for a company that can’t answer all five questions in a deployable fashion?

If these five questions aren’t answered in a deployable fashion how can you or anyone be a success since there are NO measurable goals?

If people are not “chasing the bus” because of these five answers then “everyone” is backwards hired. If they are backwards hired, they spend every day making it up and hoping things work out – but things only workout for backwards hires if the company is in a “right place at the right time” bubble. Companies in a “right place at the right time” bubble make money. In this bubble, even the bad companies are profitable, and based on the bubble profit, they claim “greatness.”

Take a quick inventory!

  • Have you answered and deployed the five revenue strategy questions?
  • Does everyone on your team know the true north and the path to getting there?
  • Are the right people chasing your bus looking for a chance to take a seat so they can support the team arriving at the true north?
  • Do you have to focus and motivate your team or are they focused, aligned and measuring their efforts to the true north even without you?
  • Are you hiring backwards or hiring those who are chasing your bus?

Discard those 20th Century myths and beware of trying to “get the right people on the bus” by focusing on the people.

Move to the 21st Century with the help of those who are “chasing the bus” because of where the bus is going.

Rick McPartlin founded The Revenue Game to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of revenue generation. He has held senior executive positions and consulted for many Fortune 500 firms and small companies alike, and he’s shared his passion for “revenue generation as a science” for more than 20 years. Read more of his columns on our website at www.vbjusa.com/business-toolbox/inside-track/the-revenue-game.

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