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The No. 1 thing: picking good people

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in Leaders & Managers

Even though it’s messy, sometimes it’s important to remove people who are not doing an acceptable job.

Wayne Downing, who ran the U.S. Army Special Forces as a four-star general, says that putting the right people in the right positions can sometimes be uncomfortable but will ultimately make a difference.

“Most of my bad judgment calls were generally about people. There have been times when I knew I had to take people out of a position. … You don’t like to do that, but in the final analysis you have to.”

Remember that having the right people is usually more important than having the right strategy. Your team can remain strong only if you are vigilant in your assessments of people and their effectiveness and take appropriate action when needed.

— Adapted from Judgment, Noel M. Tichy and Warren Bennis, Portfolio.

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