If you’re a manager, will you find the right people first or will you get the project first? If you just started a company all by yourself…will you find the right people or start looking for new project?

This is like the chicken & egg story. Which one comes first? or which one SHOULD come first? To be honest, it’s quite subjective.

Based on the book “Good to great” by Jim Collins, he mentioned that it is important to find the right people first, before everything else. I do believe in his wise words. You might think that without a project, why even bother to hire more people? I once think like you do, and I am sure most of the people in the corporate world will think that way. However, after reading this book, I somehow feel that..perhaps, it IS very important to get the right people on the bus, before deciding where to head to.

Let’s have an example….

You just started your company, alone. You have a business plan but no project. However, you seriously need someone to help out…so you started to look for people….. Only 2 situations might occur :

  1. You got the right people on the bus, revised the business plan, decided which direction to head to and together as a team, started to drive your company to that direction.
  2. You prefer to get the projects first. You tried and tried…finally, you got a project. You scurried around looking for people….and you found them. Off they went, for the project.

In (1), it’s the classic example of getting the right people first. This way, you can have all the brain juice you need from the “smart” people you hired. Of course, to some companies, this will prove to be very costly….but think about it, perhaps it IS worthwhile to do so?

In (2), you hired “followers” who only had the chance of coming to the company and implementing whatever you’ve instructed them to do so. You are the “boss”, the sole decision maker. If you managed to screw it up….your company is screwed as well.

This theory, applies to all sort of companies – from startups to big corporations. It just depends on how much they believe in it. If I were to start a company, I would definitely follow the “people first, direction later” theory since I can be more assured my company is heading the right way with all the expert co-drivers and navigators in my bus. ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, it’s your call.

p/s…I might not be able to express myself well enough in this topic. For further information, do refer to the book by Jim Collins which I’ve mentioned above.