There are three kinds of employees: Asses, Hands, Brains. Which are you hiring?
What’s the difference? Simple!
Asses fill seats.
Hands assemble or fix things.
Brains solve problems and create things.
I have been saying for years, that we hire hands when we should be hiring brains, because we don’t know the difference. Now I realize there is a third category: Asses. Sometimes we hire just to fill a seat on the team. We feel that we are short handed, and need to fill as spot so we hire the first semi-competent candidate, so we can “get back to work”.
As a manager, “the team” is your number one. The team is your engine. The team is your power to get things done. So the idea that you need to hire someone so you can get back to work implies that you are emphasizing something else. The team should be doing the work. You should be building, maintaining, motivating, fueling, and tuning the team so that they stay at the top of their capability.
As a manager, there are all kinds of distractions such as administrivia, policies, customer relations, special projects, your own career aspirations… I am not saying that you can ignore any of these things. I am just saying that they are not your number one. If you have a team of competent hands and engaged brains, they can do more. You can delegate your administrivia, customer relations, special projects to the team. You can grow them into capable leaders and look to your aspirations, knowing that you have depth behind you. You can let them guide policy in ways that allows them to be more effective and efficient.
If you have asses filling seats – your job will be much harder.