I wrote the other day about some of the reasons why small teams of outstanding people might be more effective than larger teams of average people.
Maybe in a perfect world we could all agree. The rub though is that in practice, finding outstanding people and getting them to work for you can be tricky. It can take a lot of time and skill. How much time can you spend trying to find outstanding talent? How good is good enough? Is somebody that is 1 in 1000 good enough? Or somebody that is 1 in 100? How skilled do you yourself have to be in order to recognize and evaluate the skill of another? And how much can you really learn about a potential hire until you’ve worked with them for a while?
You only have so much time to find such a person. The clock is ticking. And at some point, you have to pull the trigger and hire them. A lot of skill and hard work might go into hiring somebody. But is it possible that luck plays a bigger factor than most admit?
It’s easy to give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back when you’ve hired somebody special. “I made a great hire”. Yes, but how much of that was really the fruit of your skill? From what I’ve seen, finding outstanding talent often comes down to filtering out a lot of duds to maximize the chance of getting lucky vs actively selecting for the most outstanding person.