Who Should Be On Your Bus?
In Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, he describes the process of hiring as getting the right people “on the bus,” the wrong people “off the bus,” and “everybody in the right seats.” He just never really explains how to make all of that happen.
Collins also talked about the Merry Pranksters who drove around the United States back in the early sixties on their bus called “Further,” tripping on acid. I’m not suggesting that you trip on acid to build your business—you’d get some weird press and some truly unexpected consequences if you did—but Collins talks about this group because when they were planning the trip around the United States that would last a year, they needed to make sure they only had people on the bus that they wanted to spend time with and with whom they could have meaningful experiences. Finding the right Chief Operations Officer is much like the Merry Pranksters search.
In addition to finding the right people, the Merry Pranksters needed to get the negative people, the low performing people, and the high performing people who had bad values off their bus. Do you currently have a Chief Operating Officer who fits any of these descriptions? Collins does a good job of using the Pranksters as a model for building your team.
It’s worth adding that business people do not obsess enough about the wrong people getting off the bus. This is crucial to completing Collins’ final step in the process, which is getting people into the right seats. Your COO needs to truly be 2nd in command – a co-pilot, not just a backseat driver.
When you get the right people into your organization and the wrong people out of it, you can begin to really drive the business faster and further.