All You Need is Doug

Thoughts on PR, media, Michigan football & how to get the company named after me

The Secret to Success

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I just finished reading a great interview in The New York Times with Guy Kawasaki, the co-founder of AllTop, a news aggregator site. I’m quite familiar with Kawasaki’s work – he’s widely regarded as one of those “influencers” we in social media like so much.

Here was my favorite part. The question was: How do you hire? Kawasaki’s response?

The most important thing is that you hire people who complement you and are better than you in specific areas. Good people hire people better than themselves. So A players hire A+ players. But others hire below their skills to make themselves look good. So B players hire C players. C players hire D players, etc.

I love that – surround yourself with people that are better than you. Why? Because I certainly don’t know everything (contrary to what I thought in high school and college :)) and you can learn so much from other talented people.

This is quite evident at Weber Shandwick. A couple weeks ago, I was writing up a creative brief for a video idea and I thought it was pretty good. I showed it one of our video guys and he immediately came up with three ways to make it better that I didn’t even really think about.

I’m a big believer that everybody has a certain talent and we should give these people the ability to let those talents show so they can succeed (see number eight in this article on the Harvard Business Review blog).

The University of Michigan football team has this problem – they have a great athlete named Denard Robinson who plays quarterback. He’s a great runner and improviser, but make poor reads and isn’t the greatest passer. This year, I hope Coach Rodriguez puts him in a position to succeed – give him the ball in space as a specialist and let him run. He’ll thrive, the offense will thrive and we’ll of course win the Big Ten this year.

Hey, I can dream, right? That’s the other secret to success – don’t give up on your dreams.

Thanks for reading.


Written by dougwernert

March 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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