Hire People Smarter Than Yourself…

September 7, 2017

Some of my recent blog themes have been written around “getting a Yes” and “making the ask”, two really important professional skills to hone and ones that I have been using regularly as I go about establishing my “brand chat” interview series.

Each time I reach out to one of my favorite brand crushes I cross my fingers that I have done enough due diligence, prior to connecting with them and asking for them to participate, to warrant a “Yes”. I have been fortunate that to date I have had 15 “Yeses” and only 1 “No”.   That is a terrific score and I’m extremely grateful.

I have recorded multiple interviews already, which has been truly amazing, the dialogue rich and engaging and packed full of brand wisdoms as takeaways for my listeners.

One of my “brand chats” was with Angela Proffitt. This Nashville girl previously worked in a mortuary and yet has wound up being the #1 sought after wedding planner to the stars.


Our conversation revolved around about how her rise in business was sort of an accident… but, not really. Her ultimate message was around being willing to honestly map out your strengths and weaknesses as a company head/founder. We all are pretty sure of what we know we do best but owning up to where you might be less than stellar, well, that is difficult for most of us to admit.

Which got me thinking…and thankfully confirming that the team I have working with me day in and out absolutely fill the voids that I know without a doubt are my Achilles’ heel.

You have to know what you don’t know or simply aren’t good at and be willing to surround yourself with staff or colleagues that in many cases are smarter than you. True leaders realize the importance of moving out of their own way to let others do what they do best; they don’t let their ego hold onto the reins.

Hiring rock stars for your team is more than just finding someone who looks swell on a resume. You want to have several interactions during the interview process to gauge their interpersonal prowess as well as get numerous referrals from people who have actually spent time with them under deadlines, when the going got rough or when the numbers were down. How we react under stress tends to speak volumes about our work ethic.

You want to be sure to find someone who is comfortable taking initiative and is confident enough to make everyday decisions without the need for your approval or direction. Seek out individuals that offer varying and insightful perspectives, ideas and solutions. It is vital to a thriving enterprise to be constantly learning from those you work with. Everyone should be breathing life into their work or they simply just shouldn’t be on your team. They need to consistently convince you with their actions that they understand the company’s philosophy (or big picture).

Look for team members who are active listeners and problem solvers, ones who you can see yourself asking for input or answers rather than always the other way around.

Running a successful business requires that things get done on time, with minimal error and surpass the expectations of your client (or consumer). The reputation of your brand depends very much on these things. Thus, attention to detail, strong communication skills, conflict management capabilities and the fantastic superpower of being able to prioritize in an ever changing environment are all things to consider as you build your team culture. In order to attract, recruit and hire “A” players it helps to foster a “we are all in this together” mentality.