Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quote | I don’t need anyone great

During coffee today with a buddy who is a killer sales professional in the staffing world, he shared a quote with me that I just love.   One of his clients was looking for a contract developer to add to his team and offered:

I don’t need anyone great, I need someone to get the work done

Remarkable.  Instead of good to great, we’re going from awesome to good.

Looking for a completely adequate developer?  That’s an awesome strategy for an adequate product, adequate growth and adequate ROI.  Let’s print the t-shirts right now!

I’m all for people who can get work done, but adding average people to your team is never a good idea.  Role players need to be awesome in their jobs as well.

Whether it is and FTE or 10-99, adding someone based on bill rate or salary (to a point, of course) alone is really a bad idea.  Base your decisions – and coach them up to –on what value they can bring.


Phil Coen-Pesch said...

I think sometimes people use adequate when they mean sufficiently competent and professional to the tasks at hand.

Assuming the tasks at hand are not only to develop products that work 99% of the time (1% off for Chaos Theory), but "...to think 'round corners": What's next? What's the impact? If I do this will it stop me from doing/coding the next likely development stage of this product.

I wonder if most managers are just trying to avoid the extremes: the useless hack who only does enough to meet the requirements or the prima donna that drives everyone crazy and treats his/her code as if it were a liturgical rite rather than something we'll change in 18 months.

Thomas Copenhaver said...

I agree - extremes usually result in a drama overflow. I'll take sufficiently competent and professional - but I still want you to be better at that (whatever it is that you do) than the average bear. I plan for different expirence levels but not "adequate" competencey.

Life in the margins (and inside the bell-curve) is a dangerous place to live (and grow your career).

As for Prima Donnas - as you allude to - they usually don't pass the "smart, get stuff done" criteria. If you really are as good as you say you are (and aren't a team cancer) - I can handle a little ego.

Thanks (as always) for your insightful commments.