Tip #2 Hire People Who Know More Than You Do
In my career I’ve seen several really great managers with one huge weakness. They’re threatened by people they manage. This is especially true when the manager is actively doing the same tasks that their employees do. The most classic example if the young sales manager who resists the wisdom of his or her more seasoned sales staff.
I have a motto. If the people on my team don’t know more about something than I do, then I hired the wrong people. If they never come up with anything that I couldn’t have come up by myself, then I need to hire a new team.
I may have spent more than two decades as a marketer but that doesn’t mean I’ve done every single tasks in the course of my career. For example, I’ve relied on the output from a call center but I’ve never worked in one nor managed one. On my team, there is an individual who has. When it comes to hiring a telemarketing vendor or improving our own internal call center, I rely on her insight.
Another member of the team loves social media. I wouldn’t have my own blog if I didn’t think it was a cool concept. However, as you can probably tell from my layout, I don’t spend every moment of my free time tweaking the html code. He does so I rely on this team member to make sure we meet our goals. I make sure his projects support our corporate objectives but rarely do I ever give explicit instructions. Moreover, I’ve learned far more from him about social media than he will ever learn from me.
This concept even applies to interns. In fact, interns have a huge advantage as they’ve grown up using computers for almost everything. For example, one of our interns does a great job touching up executive publicity photos.
Teams with managers who are threatened by their own staff have a tougher time accomplishing their goals. When they do, it’s because the team leader successfully pulls everyone into line so things are done his or her way. This can work if the team is made up of younger or relatively inexperienced people. To me, it just doesn’t seem like a very satisfying style.