Don’t hire the best. Here’s why….
When Simon Sinek gives his students’ group work. He does a little experiment.
Often when teachers organise groups, they put a selection of abilities in each group, to make the groups balanced and give each group similar chances of success and achievement.
When Simon Sinek organises his groups he does it completely differently. He forms groups around ability and effort. He creates groups consisting of only the top individual high achievers, groups with perennial poor performers and groups with the average, middle of road students.
As you would expect all the students complain that it’s unfair, but is really unfair?
His thinking behind it is why saddle the high achievers, those that will put the time and effort in and carry the group to a high mark, with students that will freeload and really not bother. It seems unfair that a few students would do all the work and then all students, even the ones that do nothing, would benefit from the results despite not contributing.
His way means everyone gets that mark they probably deserve.
However, there is an interesting phenomenon that arose from this policy. As expected, the low achieving students did not perform great, but he also found that the top-performing students also never performed brilliantly. It was always a group of average, mid-level students that got the top marks. It was never the individually brilliant students.
The individual top performing students NEVER produced the best group work. They were never able to come together and harness their individual brilliance as a cohesive group. They were never able to add up to more than the sum of their parts.
The average students, however, were able to learn from each other and be open to other people’s thoughts and opinions and bring together different thinking to produce something more. Something better. They To come together and perform to a standard that was great than their individual abilities combined.
They become a team, not just a group of individuals.
So beware of hiring the top performers, they may not play nicely with other people!
Check out the podcast episode in which Simon discusses this with Suneel Gupta