Managing Smart People: Leaders and Experts

CAN’s success depends on our ability to provide great jobs to innovative and creative professionals. However, managing these highly intelligent and creative people can be challenging.  Smart people want clear career paths, frequent meaningful promotions, and competent managers.  If smart people perceive a position lacking, they quickly lose motivation.  For example, smart people quickly lose respect for a manager they perceive as being incompetent or  less intelligent.  CAN has tried to address the challenges of hiring smart people.
First, we have limited the number of positions that are not core to the business. If possible we have outsourced any position that is not sales or operations. Essentially we have outsourced for quality not price. This has created an organization were almost every position has a clear career path. This has allowed CAN to focus on building in-depth training programs that allow us to develop our people so that they can earn frequent and meaningful promotions.
Second, we have created two career paths. People can be promoted as leaders or experts. Leaders are people that have natural talents working with people, helping, motivating and inspiring them. Experts are people that have natural talents working with ideas and technology. While being a leader or expert is not mutually exclusive, they are promoted based on their strongest natural strengths.  This allows them to focus.
Good leaders can respect the technical prowess of experts, and experts can respect the technical prowess of leaders. This mutual respect allows leaders and experts to hire the best people without feeling threatened. Imagine a company where managers are encouraged to hire the best people possible without feeling threatened.
This is one of many posts we will publish on how CAN is creating a work environment for smart people.  CAN’s purpose is to help our clients work smart.  That is why CAN is committed to being a place where smart people love to come to work and help our clients.

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