That statement is credited to Jim Collins, who in the bestseller Good to Great, said it was most important to have the right people, not necessarily the right direction.
“First Who ... Then What. We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats—and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage “People are your most important asset” turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset.
The right people are.”
This was groundbreaking stuff when he published this in 2001, because he also wrote: “The bus driver (the leader) does not announce where you are going, but he makes sure to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats.”
OK, so what does this have to do with your business? You are the bus driver. So, your most important job is not dictating the direction of the company. It is getting the right people in the right seats. However, when I say people, I want you to think about this more creatively. Getting the right people on your bus is not just about HIRING employees. It can also be about hiring contractors, working with vendors, utilizing new software, employing new services, etc. to do the work that full-time employees might do. In other words, your seats may not just be spots for full time employees. So....do you have seats available on your bus?? Do you know where they are??
In my work as a financial advisor to small businesses, I encourage business owners to change their mindset. Making sure they have the right people, vendors, processes in place is vital to long-term success. Most small business owners do not think they can add to their headcount, and they are probably right, but they can streamline and be more efficient in their processes, (i.e. change the way they view the seats on the bus).
If you want to discover what seats you should have on your bus, let’s talk. Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.