Bill Gates is the richest person in the world. How?

He is incredibly demanding. He is incredibly smart. He is an incredible negotiator and salesmen. He has vision. He has passion for what he does.

But, if you ask him, that’s not what he points to as the secret to his success. So then what is?

“The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people,” Gates has been quoted as saying. “If we weren’t still hiring great people and pushing ahead at full speed, it would be easy to fall behind and become some mediocre company.”

Others Agree

Is Bill Gates alone on this idea? Hardly. Listen to some of these quotes from some of the world’s most successful people.

Steve Jobs: “I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1.Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream….A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

Paul Russell: “Development can help great people be even better – but if I had a dollar to spend, I’d spend 70 cents getting the right person in the door.”

Warren Buffet: “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

And again, our friend Mr. Gates, with our favorite quote:

Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”