My biggest 2019 lesson


2019 did not end yet, however one of my biggest lessons this year out of multiple experiences, observations, and reads is to never compromise when hiring.

I now deeply understand Steve Jobs’s “A players hire A players; B players hire C players; and C players hire D players. It doesn’t take long to get to Z players.”.

I understood why Amazon insists on hiring people that demonstrate their leadership principles. Which in itself is the application of the principle “Insist on high standards”.

I came to the conclusion that 10X engineers, product managers, or sales people exist. They don’t have to be assholes – as when the discussion ignited on twitter – to be 10X. But there are those individuals that really make a night and day difference in an organization’s output.

This takes me to this piece I read earlier. SO TRUE.

“You are also judged as a leader on how many people you need on your team to achieve your output, i.e. your managerial leverage. How much are you able to do with as few people as possible?
This has implications for how you should think about hiring people to your team. People should either individually be so productive that they raise the average productivity of your team, or act as a multiplier to everyone currently on your team. In either case, make sure your overall productivity increase covers the cost of bringing them on. This prevents leaders from arbitrarily hiring into their team for sake of building up a fiefdom. Want to add someone? Sure, go ahead but remember that it raises the bar on expected total per person output.”

Overall, if I think what is my next professional goal, it is becoming a magnet for A players. It is being able to identify who they are, building relationships with them, and at some point being able to persuade them to work with me on projects. Because I strongly believe that building something that matters requires a group of A players working together on achieving it.