Are You Recruiting Your Replacement?
The kind of team you build says a lot about you as a leader. Are you recruiting bodies, performers or the next generation?
If you're recruiting bodies, then you're simply filling seats in order to get people to push paper, follow orders and 'do' stuff. You don't need smart people to do this. You're not preparing for growth, so when it comes time to fill a senior role, you'll be looking outside - because none of those bodies will be able to do the job.
If you're recruiting performers, you'll have people who know what they are doing, can think reasonably and can get work done. You need to guide these folks, but you don't need to tell them what to do step by step. When it comes time to fill senior roles, you'll find candidates here, but they'll need work to get them up to speed and perform consistently at the level you want.
If you're recruiting the 'next generation', you're recruiting people who will take ownership. They're smart, proactive, think ahead and question the status quo. They might, at times, put you on edge, because they push you to think better, smarter and question your own beliefs. When it comes time to fill senior roles, though, these people will be ready to take those roles on, and flourish.
If you run a business or lead a group, this last group is what you want to aspire to build. People who are so good, they can replace you, allowing you to do more, be more strategic, think differently about the business.
Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is challenging. Yes, they may, at times, debate and push you in your thinking or ideas.
But if you aspire to achieve a mission, build towards an overarching goal, then you'll see the value in this. And you'll gladly look for it.
This means you need to check your ego at the door, to be unconcerned about politics, about perceptions of "your authority". You have to think beyond your level.
This doesn't work if you feel insecure, if you don't think you're good at what you do, or if you find it difficult to tolerate debate (usually for the aforementioned reasons).
It's worth taking stock - of your people and of yourself.
Who are you recruiting?