I only want the best - but what is that?

"I only take the best." This statement of a friend of mine got me thinking the other day. To be honest, we all want only the best, but what does that actually mean? What exactly does that mean?


My friend said that he only wants the best employees in his company. He had processes to be run, work to be done, and customers that needed to be served, and he wanted the best people only. He doesn't want to provide mediocre service but wants the best and needs employees who do the best work—a fascinating approach.

Fulfilling quotas or finding the best employees?

Some entrepreneurs want to fulfill a quota, for example, 50% female and 50% male employees. It is difficult to say, I want to have the best, but at the same time, I want to fulfill the quota. This is where the question of top priority comes into play: Do I really want to have the best employees in a position, or am I behind meeting a certain quota? Both goals are valid, and it is legitimate to approach it that way. But you can't prioritize the percentage simultaneously and want to have the best people everywhere. If you are looking for someone who does a job best, it doesn't matter what gender they are: female, male, or diverse. If I want someone to do software development, in the end, it doesn't matter who comes. The main thing is that this person fits nicely into the team, gets along with the processes, and does his work as fast, efficiently, and best as possible.

Would it be possible to do even better?

What do you mean by best? Nobody knows exactly, but Alan Weiss from the USA provides an exciting thought. In one of his podcasts, he talks about Barack Obama. Alan asked what this first dark-skinned president of the USA has done for the black people in his country. Of course, he did the best he could. But was this also the best that could have been done? That cannot be answered. After all, a relevant comparison is missing. It's the same when you hire the best person for a particular position. The person gives his best, but what you don't know is whether the tasks could have been performed even better. Unfortunately, the egg-laying wool-milk sow has not yet been found, and nobody will always be the best in all areas.

Set criteria

A new smartphone comes onto the market - and of course, it is the best. But if you say, "Android is not coming for me because there are too many security leaks", then you have already narrowed down the field, and now you only get the best Blackberry or the best iPhone. If you only want Samsung devices, then you will get only the best Samsung. However, this does not mean that there are no smartphones outside your specific criteria, and the same is true for humans. Just because you say you found the best one for the job based on your defined criteria doesn't mean that you will always get the best one at the position. Take a soccer team as an example. You have found the best soccer player - incredible. But you can't fill the whole team with the best soccer players. That would not work, because there is only one best player in each area: the best defensive player, the best midfielder and the best striker.

Defining the best

If you are looking for someone for a specific position who has the best qualities to fulfill the tasks, these are usually always limited. So you have to define in advance who is the best at all and what it means at this point. Talking about having the best team ever will make your employees happy, but it means nothing in reality. Because as long as there are no criteria for the best, it cannot be measured. Define the cornerstones for a particular position clearly and talk about finding exactly the right employee for this position.

Would you like to discuss this exciting topic in detail? Then write to me at fragen@andredaus.com. You can also call me or make an appointment.

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André Daus Red Teaming
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