Breeding Mediocrity in your IT Department


According to John Hughes here is one formula for breeding mediocrity in an organization or team:
1. Hire the best talent you can find
2. Manage (control) them
3. Watch them leave out of frustration
4. Fill the void with mediocre talent (they're easier to find and manage, and they'll happily fly above poor and below great).

If you prefer to have more remarkable things happen in your organization, here's my formula for breeding success:
1. Hire the best talent you can find
2. Share your vision/direction with them
3. Set them free
4. Get out of the way

Be there to support them, cheer them on, remove roadblocks, mentor and develop them, but mostly you'll want to stay out of their way.

You'll breed mediocrity (fail) if you try to control the outcome by controlling your people. But if you hire talented people and set them free, they won't show you up, they will lift you up.

So how do you manage people who are better, smarter, faster and more ingenious than you are? You don't!

You lead them.

What's the difference? Managing people requires boundaries. Boundaries control time, creativity, priorities, decision-making authority, what they can learn, the leeway to make mistakes, and ultimately the ability to grow at a faster pace.

Leadership, on the other hand, requires vision, trust and letting go - your vision, your trust and your ability to let go. These are all actions you need to take, not them!

If you have talent but they're not producing remarkable results, ask yourself if you're in the way. Or if you don't have the talent you need, once again, ask yourself if you're in the way of hiring top talent. If you don't know, ask your boss or ask your HR exec. You need to know.

Breeding mediocrity is so mediocre. Achieve the remarkable by setting yourself free as a leader - hire talent better than you are or ever will be, then get out of the way.

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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and


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