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Nurturing Your Best Talent and Work Culture
Jay: And there are not many decisions you make as an organization or as a leader which are truly not reversible. There are very few. Hiring people is one of the kinds of in-between gray area ones. So when we think about the rate of decision making, this is written right into our sensei values. One-way door decisions are different than two-way door decisions. And what I mean by that is some decisions are a two-way door. If you go through and you don’t like what’s on the other side, you can walk back through the door again. And maybe there’s a small penalty for doing it, but it’s not that big a deal. Some decisions are one-way doors. When you go through that door, it closes behind you. You better like what’s on the other side because you can’t come back.
Jay: So I would give an example of that. Taking money from investors is a one-way door. Once you have taken that money and they are now equity holders in the business and are on your board, you can’t really get rid of them. Hiring somebody is not a one-way door. It is generally a two-way door. We have to be aware that somebody is leaving a job to come and work for us most of the time unless they were on the market and looking. And so yes, we may have taken them out of a job for them to come and work for us. So it’s not you know, it’s not a zero impact two way door. But generally speaking, if this wasn’t the right decision, it’s not the right decision and we can reverse it. With that in mind, you can make a hiring decision more quickly than you might make a decision about taking money from an investor, and you should make it more quickly.
Jay: But think about this is just generally a good way of assessing where you invest your time even for yourself. If you’re looking at your to-do list, everything you choose to do is a bunch of things you’re not choosing to do. There is never a time. You can pick one thing, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a bunch of other things. So that opportunity cost has to get factored into it.
Jay: And so if you have some people on your team who are the rock stars, they are your top performers, and you hire someone new into the team and that person is just not good at their job or whatever it is. The longer you tolerate them, the more that your top performers are watching this and thinking, I don’t want to stay in this organization because it puts up with mediocrity or it encourages people who are bad for the culture, or why do I have to put in so much effort when these people who have just come in are coasting along and we’re in the same role? And so it has a really negative impact on the people who you want to keep on the team.
Jay: We think about culture as a garden and you are the gardener of that garden. Your job is to grow a healthy garden. And the way you grow that healthy garden is you make sure that it gets enough sunlight and enough water and enough nutrients which you can do by providing it the things that are good for it. You can encourage it to grow in certain ways and you have to weed the garden because if you don’t weed the garden, the weeds take over. So if you think about your culture as this living thing, I can’t force it to turn into something, but I can encourage it to grow the right way and I can make sure it gets the right nutrients and I can weed out the weeds that need to be removed. If I do those things, I will have a successful garden as a leader of my organization, and that’s the way that we think about it. And yes, sometimes that means you have to weed out some weeds.