Monday, February 28, 2011

The Value of being the "Dumbest Guy In The Room"

"I hired great people. But, I was never the smartest guy in the room. If you have ten people on your team and two are smarter than you, then you've got eight of the wrong people. You want to be the dumbest guy in the room and just sucking ideas out of your team."

-Jack Welch, retired/famed leader of General Electric and founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute Online MBA.

A few weeks ago Jack Welch gave the keynote address at the Peopleclick Authoria global conference, and in true Jack Welch form, he made it clear that any organization that would not embrace Topgrading would have to be a C player company, led by a C player CEO and/or dragged down by a C player human resources organization. The A players in the room chimed in with “Of course!” “Do ‘ya think?” and “What company can survive with bosses that don’t try to fill every job with a high performer?”

When a head of human resources in the audience asked Jack what she should do if the CEO is a C player and is not talent driven, Jack said, “Quit – go somewhere else and Topgrade!”

And former talent management consultant to Jack Welch at GE, Brad Smart PhD recommends hiring top talent at all costs in a recent post - Try Stealth Topgrading. If you are a hiring Manager in an organization that won't embrace hiring the best available talent for every position, Smart recommends: 1) Quitting (per Welch's advice) and finding a more supportive organization, 2) Convincing Management to allow you to create a "beta test" for a new hiring methodology, or 3) Taking matters into your own hands and screening finalists to validate top performers yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment