“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Recently, I spent the day sitting amongst all of Dyn’s managers (Directors, VPs and Executives included), continually impressed by the breadth of knowledge and experiences this group brings to the table. It got me thinking about the old days here at Dyn (way back in early 2011) when I first started. Back then, I was one of the first hires brought in to simply “manage people” and while there were some bumpy days at first, things seem to have worked out just fine.
In the early stages of our recent hyper growth cycle many high performing individual contributors were asked to move into leadership roles. For some, this move was exactly what the doctor ordered. For others, it was not necessarily the career path they had in mind. And for a few, it simply wasn’t a good fit.
For a multitude of reasons, the trouble is that it’s really hard — if not impossible — to go back to your old individual contributor role and because of this, Dyn had to part ways with some good, talented folks.
It’s been a welcome thing that we’ve been bringing on a new level of leader at Dyn. Some have come from the outside, while others have come up through the ranks but all want to be on the management path and all are very capable of big things. My advice to these folks: hire and promote talented people (even if they are more talented than you). Then work with them to help push the team (and therefore the company) forward.
In the end, I promise it’ll work out well for all involved.
Be warned: this plan of attack can come with “casualties.” These moves up the corporate ladder don’t always happen on schedule so these standouts can get tired of waiting and choose to move on (or up) elsewhere. Elsewhere can be both internal and external. I’ve had it happen to me several times and I’ve even done it a few times myself.
That’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Don’t be sad or angry. Be happy. Be supportive. In fact, feel free to pat yourself on the back. You’ve mentored someone to the point where he/she can make this jump.
And should this happen, don’t forget to keep in touch with them.
You never know when or where that relationship might pay off, says the guy who now works for one of his former interns.
Talent is an inherently dynamic quality and any time you look to foster it, to bring it onto a team, you need to expect movement, growth. That’s simply the way it works and it’s also the most exciting thing about having and interacting with such a talented team.
(Editor’s note: Many of these managers are looking for talented people to join their teams. Click here to see what’s available.)