Lesson 1: Building the best company if your industry is an elite discipline. And just like all other elite spots great people want to work with other great people, because it makes them better. Get rid of mediocre people immediately, otherwise you will let them drag down the culture.
Lesson 2: There is a world of difference between good people and great people (Good is the opposite of great). That difference is in the attitude. Skills can be learned, attitude cannot. So always hire for attitude and train for skills, never the other way around.
Lesson 3: You’re always hiring. There are a limited number of people with über-great talent, if you come across one, get them on board. Find the money.
Work has to be fun!
Great people don’t work for money. They work to make a difference, be a part of something bigger than themselves, or to become the best at what they do.
Lesson 1: People expect to enjoy themselves at work, so arrange robot building days, family events, parties, install swings in the office, DJ’s in the corners or whatever works for you (all of these I know companies who do)
Lesson 2: Your existing employees and team members have to be your best PR machine in attracting new talent. If they’re are not saying nice things about working there, you need to change.
Don’t kid yourself - people join companies and quit bosses.
Lesson 1: Don’t be an asshole. Power corrupts and many bosses are obsessive, opinionated and dominating. Try to include and listen to people. (if you’re not going to listen anyway, you might as well not hire great people, then get someone average). If you do hire great people, then treat them with respect.
Lesson 2: Stop treating people as employees. It implies you’re more valuable than them and you’re not. In fact without a great team, you’re nothing. You’re all a part of a team. And all team functions are important, also the less sexy ones.
Lesson 3: Your role as a CEO is to keep your team happy, this is your most important task, equal to keeping your customers happy. (Don’t confuse this with being weak, leaders still need to lead)
Build a tribe!