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(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success

ISBN: 978-0-470-00788-4
200 pages
September 2006
(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success (0470007885) cover image
"A mediocre employee in your group is more than one mediocre employee--he or she is a human multiplier-effect, to the downside. If you have even one mediocre employee, you have announced to the world that mediocrity is okay by you, while conceding that you are willing to slow the entire group for the sake of the worst employee.


Thus, allowing that one person to stay is not being kind or generous; it's dangerous. It's dangerous for the individual, who knows that, at some level, he or she is doing second-rate work, and who you are locking into mediocrity, and it is dangerous for the group, which is slowed and distracted."
--from (Great) Employees Only

"Dauten will challenge every preconceived notion you have about making your career take off."
--Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

"You'll rediscover the joy that's missing in your career, your coworkers, and yourself."
--Ken Elkins, former president and CEO, Pulitzer Broadcasting Company
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Preface xv

48 Things Gifted Bosses Know

PART I 90-10-0: The Formula for Leadership Success

Number 1 Hiring Is Motivation, or It’s Less Work to Get 100 Percent Improvement than 10 Percent Improvement 2

Number 2 You Can Change People, or You Can Change People 6

Number 3 The First Step to Finding Star Employees Is Believing That They Exist, or How to Make the Playing Field as Un-Level as Possible 8

Number 4 You Can Lead an Employee to Water, but If You Find One Who Knows a Better Path to the Water, Shut Up and Get a Bucket 11

PART II From Employees to Allies

Number 5 Those Aren’t Employees (or Friends, Enemies, Family, or Students)—Those Are Allies 14

Number 6 Those Aren’t Former Employees—Those Are Graduates 19

Number 7 You Never Get Rid of Anyone 23

Number 8 It’s Not Closure That’s Needed—It’s Aperture 25

Number 9 How Two Allies (a Great Employee and a Gifted Boss) Find Each Other 26

Number 10 Assume the Best, Part I: The Art of Being a True Ally 29

Number 11 Assume That the Best Employees ALWAYS KNOW 34

Number 12 What’s a Great Employee Worth? 38

PART III The Graceful Art of De-Hiring

Number 13 Replacing People Is so Hard for Most Bosses That They Don’t Do Enough of It 42

Number 14 You Are Becoming Your Coworkers 43

Number 15 A Meeting Moves at the Pace of the Slowest Mind in the Room 45

Number 16 Firing Takes Guts—De-Hiring Requires Heart 47

Number 17 Assume the Best, Part II: The Genius Lurking Inside 55

Number 18 The My-Situation-Is-Different Myth: De-Hiring Works in Any Type of Business or Industry, Even Government 59

Number 19 Intelligent Failing 62

Number 20 You Can’t Buy Love from Fired Employees 66

Number 21 From Set-Up-to-Fail to Set-Up-to-Be-a-Hero 71

Number 22 You Aren’t Just Changing Employees—You’re Changing Lives 75

Number 23 Lessons from a Master of the Art of De-Hiring 78

PART IV Inspiring, Effortless Leadership (The First Step in Hiring Great Employees)

Number 24 You Can Take Credit, but You Can’t Give It Away 86

Number 25 Effortless Leadership, Part I: No One Wants to Be Managed, so Stop Doing It 89

Number 26 Effortless Leadership, Part II: Management by Asking Questions 91

Number 27 Effortless Leadership, Part III: The One Who Manages Least, Manages Best 94

Number 28 Effortless Leadership, Part IV: Winning versus Working 101

Number 29 Guess What Kind of Employee Is Attracted to Average Pay? 108

Number 30 Never Bet on Employees Who Don’t Want to Bet on Themselves 112

Number 31 What’s the Score? Or How to Go from Shooting Around to Playing to Win 115

Number 32 You Get What You Pay For: What Employees Believe They Get Paid For, Not What You Thought You Were Paying For 119

Number 33 When the Inspired Culture Takes over the Hiring and De-Hiring 121

PART V Hiring Is What You Do So You Don’t Have to Manage (and It’s What You Do with Some of the Time You Save by Not Having to Manage)

Number 34 Hiring Is More Important than Sales 126

Number 35 The Hiring Pipeline: The Best Selection Process in the World Is Only Capable of Picking the Best Person in the Competition 130

Number 36 Contrarian Hiring, Part I: The Underground Talent Market 137

Number 37 If You’re Feeling Insulted Right about Now 139

Number 38 Contrarian Hiring, Part II: Finding Unusual People in the Usual Places 141

Number 39 Contrarian Hiring, Part III: The Action Interview 146

Number 40 Contrarian Hiring, Part IV: It’s Not Just a Job—It’s a Break 155

Number 41 Contrarian Hiring, Part V: Hunting for New Talent Pools and/or Doing Pool Construction 157

Number 42 Being Worthy of the Best Talent: In the Long Run, You Get the Employees You Deserve 161

Number 43 If You Want Great Performances, You Have to Provide a Great Audience 165

Number 44 If You Don’t Have a Great Story, You Don’t Have Great Employees or a WOMPing Good Place to Work 168

PART VI Understanding Bureaucrats, Upper Management, and Other Distractions

Number 45 The Unspoken Assumption of Bad Management and Bad Marketing 176

Number 46 The Team Makes the Stars While the Stars Make the Team 177

Number 47 Your Work Is Only Part of Your Job 184

Number 48 Leading via Happiness 190

Final Thoughts 195

Acknowledgments and Sources 197

About the Author 199

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Dale Dauten writes two nationally syndicated weekly columns that appear in more than one hundred newspapers. He began his career as a consultant before heading his own marketing research firm, whose clients include McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, and 3M, among others. Most recently, as the founder of The Innovator's Lab, he has worked with such companies as Georgia-Pacific, General Dynamics, Caterpillar, and NASA. He is also the author of The Gifted Boss.
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