Professor Jim Collins suggests getting the “right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus” is critical in the long-term success of your company or team.  But how is that done in practical application? I’ll explore five ways to ensure your commercial real estate bus is filled with the right people.

Knowing the Right People. The right people for the team or company are people that don’t need much motivation or hand-holding. They know what needs to be done (since you gave clear directions in Behavior 5) and take necessary actions to complete that goal. These people want to be surrounded by others like them – people that are focused enough to stick to the overall goal – keeping a leachy slacker on their team will weigh them down. Retaining your right people should be a main priority.

Right People in Wrong Seats. Is that agent really a leachy slacker or does he have other skills? Sometimes agents are really great and hunting and gathering leads but can’t get a client to “close the deal”. Others may be great at closing and terrible at lead generation. You may want to identify these people and match the lead hunter with a closer. Be aware it might take two or three different pairings before you find the right combination. If you know an agent is a hard worker, but in the wrong seat consider other rolls and duties until you find the correct arrangement.

Knowing the Wrong People. Sometimes, you accidently hire toxic poison. But they were so great in the interview! Oh well, it happens. You probably knew within the first one to three months. If you ask yourself the question, “If I was interviewing this person, knowing what I know now, would I still hire him?” and the answer is “NO!” no matter how many pairings or matches you try, you’re not going to make him successful. Letting the wrong people weigh down your team or company will cost you in the long-run. The right people are constantly looking at the wrong person asking themselves, “If that’s the quality they’re looking for, why am I here?” Don’t worry about being the “bad guy” to your team. I assure you, everyone is wondering why this person hasn’t been let-go already.

Listening to the Right People. Listening to your “right people” will take your team in a profitable direction. These people are striving towards your one goal and will naturally drive your team in that same direction. It’s important to listen to your team instead of barking orders and giving direction without feedback. Listen to painful truths, understand your limitations and let the right people lead you to the path. This doesn’t mean these conversations will be easy or without intensity, but they will result in a well researched and properly debated answer with a clear course-of-action. Listening isn’t complacency – all ideas and suggested courses of action should be researched and goal oriented.

Hiring the Right People. Don’t hire people simply because you think they’ll agree with you or take your side. You want the best people for each individual job. A great manager will purposely hire people smarter, more skilled, or more experienced than him. Hiring the best people will only be nerve racking to an insecure manager. If you’re truly secure with your leadership skills you’ll naturally hire the people that will considerably outshine your own skills.