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The Heretic is a free dispatch delivering insights into what it takes to lead into & in the unknown. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

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Jun 28th, 2015 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

People First

By now it’s common knowledge that the best VCs make their investments based on the strength of the team first and only second on the merit of the particular business idea.

Recently I read a comment from Shark Tank star Daymond John on how he chooses winners for the show (hint: he also invests into people first):

“If the company doesn’t work out, we’re going to create something bigger and better in another space.”

Now — what does that mean for you (outside of the obvious scenario of raising money)?

Simple! Look at your business with the same lens as a VC does: Pick the very best people you can find. As those will, should your original idea fail, create something bigger and better in another space with you.

Or in the words of Jim Collins (from his excellent book Good to Great):

You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.

Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going — by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.

In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline — first the people, then the direction — no matter how dire the circumstances.

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