Getting the Right People on the Bus

October 30, 2013 by Lynn Faughey

266It’s been a busy month of celebrating! On October 12th, FlexPro took home the award for achieving #290 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies. We were very excited to make this national list for the second year in a row. Next, on October 16th, we were awarded the #6 spot on the Philly 100 list of fastest growing private companies in the Philadelphia area. This is the second year in a row that FlexPro has made the top ten on this list as well. We’ve truly been blessed with success and it has gotten me to thinking about what has contributed to our success? A little luck, a lot of skill, divine intervention?

At the Inc. 500 award conference, Rose and I recently had the privilege of listening to keynote speaker Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”. In his book he discusses many interesting principles regarding making a good company great, but one of my favorite of his principles really hits home. He puts it all in perspective with this simple analogy: “Your company is a bus and you are the driver.”  So where is your bus going? According to Collins, while the “where” is certainly important, it’s the “who” that is critical. Get the right people on your bus and it doesn’t matter as much where you’re going. Now I’m not suggesting that you drive blindly with no plan or roadmap in place. However, Rose and I can tell you from experience that having the right people on the bus can take a company right to the top. Think about it, the best business plan in the world will not succeed if you don’t have the right people in place to execute it. It really is all about the “who”.

Our FlexPro team started out in 2008 with Rose, myself and an idea. Now we have a team of over 30 wonderful professionals who have each contributed to our successful ride on the FlexPro bus. Like any successful company, our direction has on occasion been adjusted, our course has been altered and we’ve adapted to changing road conditions, all while making stops along the way to add another FlexPro “passenger”.  We are proud to say that since the beginning it’s never been about the goal or the product so much as it is about the people who have helped us get here – and we are thankful for every one of them!

Jim Collins said it best, “When it comes to getting started, good-to-great leaders understand three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” you can more easily adapt to a fast-changing world. If people get on your bus because of where they think it’s going, you’ll be in trouble when you get 10 miles down the road and discover that you need to change direction because the world has changed. But if people board the bus principally because of all the other great people on the bus, you’ll be much faster and smarter in responding to changing conditions. Second, if you have the right people on your bus, you don’t need to worry about motivating them. The right people are self-motivated: Nothing beats being part of a team that is expected to produce great results. And third, if you have the wrong people on the bus, nothing else matters. You may be headed in the right direction, but you still won’t achieve greatness. Great vision with mediocre people still produces mediocre results.”

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