One of the Donald Rumsfeld‘s (13th and 21st US Secretary of Defense) rules is:
“A’s hire A’s, B’s hire C’s“
which reminds the recruiter to hire the best people, who may even be smarter and more talented than than the recruiter.
The ones who hire people who are not great – for the sake of their own security – cause mediocrity in the organization. These people (the B’s) tend to consider great people as a threat to their positions. They are wrong.
Andrew Carnegie, one of the greatest businessman/entrepreneur, wrote in his tombstone: “Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself”.
Jim Collins, author of the book “Good to Great“, asserts that great companies got the right people on the bus before they became great. Jim emphasizes the importance of great people in order to become a great company.
As an entrepreneur I have observed many times that A’s hire not only A’s but also A’s attract A’s into the organization. Thus, this brings a vicious cycle that breeds success. I have never witnessed a superior success with a team which consists of only B’s or C’s.
There are three challenges regarding this fact:
1) How to find and attract A’s?
2) How to keep A’s stay in the organization?
3) How to set-up a social setting so that A’s become an “A Team” (i.e. how to form a cohesive team which proceeds towards common goals rather than a loose group in which everyone seeks their own interests)