Would you pay more for a company with an energetic, intelligent, owner who has built great relationships with his customers and runs his company in a disciplined consistent manner, or pay more for a company with energetic, self-motivated people who follow a consistent process exceptionally well, while the owner is hardly noticed? To ask the question is to answer it. A company owner that has built a team that can run the company, accomplish its goals, and has very little dependence on the owner will separate itself from the competition, command a higher selling price, and sell more quickly. Jim Collins said in his classic book, Good to Great, “if you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate(emphasis mine) and manage(emphasis mine) people largely goes away. The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be a part of creating something great(Collins, Chapter 3).”
How does a business owner go about getting the right people necessary to build a company with virtually no dependence on him? Hire and retain people with character. Collins says these good-to-great companies determine the right people by placing a “greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience(Collins, Chapter 3).” Notice he says these companies place a “greater weight” on character, not that the other attributes are unimportant, but they can be taught. However, these companies believed “work ethic, basic intelligence, dedication to fulfilling commitments, and values are more ingrained(Collins, Chapter 3).”
Build your company with people of character. It will enable you to separate from the competition, exit faster, and command a higher value.
*Collins, Jim (2011), Good To Great, (United States: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.), EPub Edition