I don’t know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make the company great.
- Dick Cooley and David Maxwell
The geniuses seldom build great management teams, for the simple reason that they don’t need one, and often don’t want one.
We found no systematic pattern linking executive compensation to the process of going from good to great. The evidence simply does not support the idea that the specific compensation acts as a key lever in taking a company from good to great. … It’s not how you compensate your executives, it’s which executives you have to compensate in the first place. … The right people will do the right things and deliver the best results they’re capable of regardless of the incentive system. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
When in doubt, don’t hire – keep looking. Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people. … Letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to all the right people, as they inevitably find themselves compensating for the inadequacies of the wrong people.
If we spend the vast majority of our time with people we really enjoy being on the bus with and who will never disappoint us – then we will almost certainly have a great life , no matter where the bust goes.