There is an urban legend that has been referred to as The Buffalo Theory. It’s generally a bunch of nonsense, but according to Urban Dictionary it, in part, says:
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And, when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
I mean, it sort of makes sense. Where this theory goes a little wacky is where it says that drinking excessive alcohol makes you smarter because the alcohol kills off the weaker brain cells. ????
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting we kill off or even fire our weakest employees.
Let’s rephrase that theory a bit:
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And, when the slowest are encouraged to move faster, the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving.
A stretch maybe?
It’s not a 100% correlation to business – buffalo have no real aspirations in life other than to eat, reproduce, and stay alive. But in order to stay alive, they need to be able to move fast. If there were a buffalo gym, don’t you think they would use it to get their slower members moving a bit faster?
Enough About The Buffalo
Look at your business. There are naturally some employees who are stronger in certain areas than others. Sure, you can let the superstars shine, but then you’re limiting your business to only be as good as those one or two people are.
What happens when your superstar gets a better offer at another company or gets hit by a bus?What happens when your superstar gets a better offer at another company? Click To Tweet
Now your business is only as good as your #2.
Instead of letting the perfectly capable #1 carry the weight of the team, give them the responsibility of mentoring your junior or less experienced employees. This will help your #1 by reducing the amount of errors they’ll have to correct or rework they’ll need to do. It will help your business by making the whole team better, faster, more efficient.
I talked about the saying slow is smooth, and smooth is fast previously. This is sort of the same idea.
Have your top talent slow down from their normal process. Have them work to smooth out the rough edges of the less experienced team members. Once the whole team is running smoothly, your business will be much more efficient and able to work faster.