Business types are quick to point out the leverage that comes with using as much of OPM (other people’s money) as you can get.
What you don’t hear as much about is the concept of OPT; which is, in my opinion a far more valuable and useful resource. OPT is short-hand for “other people’s time”.
Think about it.
From Rand Fishkin:
In his keynote at INBOUND last year, Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot’s cofounder) shared a personal story of meeting Elon Musk and their short but powerful conversation about aligning people on a team as you would vectors in an equation.
Unlike many folks in the startup world, I’m not a die-hard Musk fan. I appreciate his creativity and accomplishments, but also find him to be frustratingly quiet regarding political, social, and moral issues on which I wish he’d speak up. That aside, I find the analogy from his chat with Dharmesh something I return to over and over.
The basic concept is simple:
- We can think of the people on any given team as vectors
- People vectors have both direction and magnitude
- When people all work in precisely the same direction, their magnitudes are added to each other
- When people have any degree of deviation, the varying directions subtract (at least somewhat) from the maximum amount of productivity that could be achieved
Yes. It’s overly reductive. People are not merely “vectors” (thank goodness). But, in so many ways, the mental model delivers a beautiful degree of clarity.
To read more from Rand click here.
*For a larger version of the illustration at the top of the page, click here.
The good-to-great leaders understood three simple truths.
First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world. If people join the bus primarily because of where it is going, what happens if you get ten miles down the road and you need to change direction? You’ve got a problem.
But if people are on the bus because of who else is on the bus, then it’s much easier to change direction: “Hey, I got on this bus because of who else is on it; if we need to change direction to be more successful, fine with me.”
Second, if you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage 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 part of creating something great.
Third, if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company. Great vision without great people is irrelevant.