Having started many clubs, organizations, and companies, I have my fair share of being a leader and getting leadership scars. I’ve also often been the leader while being the youngest person in the group. It wasn’t always like that. When I was a younger, I was the kid who everyone makes fun of while I worked my butt off trying to fit in my environment.
The process had to start all over again whenever I moved, as South Africa, Taiwan, Kansas, and California all had very different cultures. The turning point was when I started a chess club in high school, and during my sophomore year, I was elected President. With a new sense of responsibility, I realized that the whole organizations success rested on my shoulders.
A lot of organizations and companies I have seen hire people to fulfill a certain role (sometimes grunt work), and when the company grows, these people get promoted, and they become managers. However, they might be bad managers and it completely ruins the culture of the company. Therefore, Future Delivery is applying an interesting hiring philosophy:
Only hire those who you feel comfortable working under.
This way we will make sure that, as the company grows, we will still be able to attract and hire people like ourselves, thus preserving the culture. Afterall, a huge amount of whether one likes her job or not, is the people she works with.
The other philosophy regarding firing is a lot more common in theory but a lot harder to execute:
If the company becomes very successful, and this person leaves the company and wants to come back, would you rehire him? If not, fire him now.
This philosophy is good in the sense that, the only mistake bigger than hiring the wrong person is keeping the wrong person on board for too long. However, team morale is an incredibly important issue, and if you suddenly get rid of people with less-than-justified reasons, morale will be low and productivity will decrease. The only time this works out is if the person was dragging down the team, and everyone would cheer if he is gone. After all, having a person not pull his weight without consequences would only discourage those who do pull their weights. So our concluding philosophy on this issue is:
Fire those who wouldn’t be rehired by anyone else in the company when the company becomes successful.