Who should I pick as my right hand man?
Every great leader needs someone they can confide in and someone they can rely on, so you should look to find a sidekick in your workplace.
Most people heading up an important position, whether a CEO, entrepreneur or even a football manager, tend to have an unsung, indispensible right hand man (or woman) by their side.
The role of the right hand man is to add a different perspective, gain an edge, get things done and even smooth over awkward situations. Their duties, in some way, complement the leaders tasks and activities.
A good fit
A right-hand man will usually come from your inner circle or be someone you've known for a long time. The one who fits the role will be someone you can trust almost implicitly, so a history between both parties is very important.
If you are setting about finding one, then you naturally want them tailored to your needs, but also able to complement your qualities. No right hand man and main man are ever the same – they couldn't be. That said you want to be comfortable when they are around you, and when you need them to make you look good, you want to know you can rely on them.
Recognise that you can't do it all yourself
If you have ambition and you want to grow, you will eventually need help. By surrounding yourself with people you can rely on you will be able to identify the classic right hand man who shares your vision and presents a realistic way of achieving it.
Take a look around at the people you currently work with, see who has the confidence to do more and support you with any issues of ego. It is a quality that only a few people have, but it is easy to overlook in those who have it.
Some of the traits that you may want to look out for include:
Making the choice
Many right hand men direct from the sidelines, helping you avoid problems that are sometimes not obvious when you're in the thick of it. Chosen badly, the right hand man can make you look weak and diminish your ranking.
Given they are loyal and complimentary to you (not a replica) then your right-hand man has to be competent. Nothing will undermine your position as quickly and more fundamentally than employing a favourite who is simply not up to the job.
Your right-hand man doesn't seek the limelight (that's your job). They are a behind-the-scenes type who gets things done. Choosing a competent candidate for the job will make your job infinitely easier, and eventually, you may pass on more responsibility.
In a nutshell, it is better to have no right hand man than someone who is simply not good enough. It may take longer than you had hoped for, but that doesn't mean that you can't have people around you that you trust and who do a good job for you, in the meantime. A right hand man that works for you should almost be an evolution rather than a direct 'find'.