Great Leaders Leverage Great Talent

Nick Fewings via Unsplash

In the wake of the Great Resignation, businesses across the globe are in upheaval, with org charts in tatters and open roles that span a variety of departments, positions, and levels. Leverage is on everyone’s minds. Yet, as business owners eye the waves of applications rolling in, they would do well to remember that a company’s leverage is built on a foundation of one.

As a business owner, the first level of any org chart is you.

If you’re experiencing problems with recruiting, it’s time to start looking in the mirror. “You get the hires that you deserve,” Gary Keller said in a mastermind with top-performing businesses owners recently. If you aren’t attracting the caliber of talent that you’re looking for, chances are that you need to take stock of how you’re viewing yourself and your business.

Be Realistic

Good leverage comes from clear perspective and informed choices. To make the best choices, you’ve got to have the right mindset. As SHIFT describes on page 24, people generally have three types of mindsets:

  • Pessimistic: Those that give into their fear, predict the worst, and are unnecessarily pessimistic.
  • Optimistic: Those who are hopeful, don’t think they’ll fail, and are unrealistically positive.
  • Realistic: Those who respond to the fact that failure is a possibility, prepare for the worst, but still choose to strive for the best. They are matter-of-fact about the market and sensible about their situation.

Even if these perspectives describe attitudes toward a difficult real estate market, they are applicable in the hiring market as well. When you are hiring for your business, it’s important to be realistic. Being realistic in hiring means being honest about both the opportunity that you are offering and doing your best to accurately assess the candidates that you have for the position.

When you’re deciding whether someone is a good fit for your organization, it’s important to have standards and expectations, but you should also make sure that these are attainable and appropriate to the role. For instance, if you’re looking to have someone join your administrative team, their ability to create efficient systems is likely more important than whether or not they are natural salespeople.

In hiring, like most situations, it hurts to be too judgmental or pessimistic. If your standards are too high and you’re approaching an applicant with the attitude that they must prove themselves worthy of you or the role, chances are you are coming across as someone who would be a micro-manager or difficult to succeed with.

You also need to be realistic about the pay and benefits you can offer and how they stack up to similar opportunities. You might be looking at the opportunity you’re offering through rose-colored glasses. If your job opportunity does not meet the market standard, then you will not get the best applicants. The job seekers you want also want a great opportunity where they will be valued and appropriately compensated.

If you’re a person who likes people, the hiring process can almost seem like a party where everyone is hanging on your every word. In this headspace, you may feel like it doesn’t matter that your most recent interviewee doesn’t have the best record of on-time delivery because the rest of your team is consistently punctual. Unfortunately, if you swing too far in the positive direction, viewing people with nothing but optimism, you risk hiring someone who may not be the best fit.

Though it can be difficult “rejecting” someone from an opportunity, you’re only doing them a short-term favor if you place them in a position where they are not likely to experience long-term success and satisfaction.

When you look at your candidates and your job opening with a realistic mindset, you’re more likely to make a better match between person and opportunity. You can balance the strengths of the candidate with the challenges they may face in the role or the personalities of their future colleagues. From this perspective, you’d be able to see that the slow-moving interviewee would frustrate a team that values speed and efficiency. Or you could review the kind of schedules that you hold your employees to and double-check that your expectations are reasonable. This way you can accurately assess both the strengths and weaknesses of your candidates and the strengths and weaknesses of the job you’re offering. No job is perfect, and no candidate is either. Being realistic about both is the best path to success.

Having a realistic mindset not only will help you find the right talent to grow your business, but it will ultimately help you and your business grow. What mindset are you in?

Revisit Your Value Proposition

Work isn’t just about productivity and profit anymore. According to The War for Talent by Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod, talented people want more than big money and all the perks. They want to feel passionate about their work, excited by their jobs, enriched by their career opportunities, uplifted by the company’s leaders, assured by the depth of its management, and inspired by the sense of mission. They’ll work hard but they want to be fulfilled. If they’re not fulfilled, they’ll be inclined to leave.

The Great Resignation is actually the result of a Great Reflection. During the past year, over 50% of employees surveyed by Gartner said that their attitudes toward their employer changed. And over 62% replied that the pandemic made them want a big change in their life.

What are you doing in your business to help people with their Big Whys? Can your employees connect their efforts with real-world results, not just profit? Making sure that the value in your organization reflects your employees’ larger values will ensure that you attract talent that is motivated to contribute and will find satisfaction in the impact of the role.

Talent Attracts Talent

Above all else, talent attracts talent. If you want to attract top-tier talent, you have to be the type of person that they want to be in business with. This means that you need to be holding yourself to the same high standards that you expect your team to meet.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent talks about the danger of confusing natural abilities with our actual abilities. The truth is, many leaders begin their businesses with lots of natural ability – but translating that ability into scalable, long-term success requires breaking through plateaus and pushing past our comfort zone.

Are you disrupting yourself and staying committed to the path of mastery? Ask and answer honestly, if you were someone else, would you be excited to work with you? If not, what actions do you need to take to become the leader you are capable of being?

Getting realistic about yourself and your business will not only help you understand the real value that you’re offering to others, but it can also help you discover places for improvement in your business that might have been overlooked or opportunities to develop exciting new possibilities.

Getting in the right mindset is the first step to taking the right actions, and the right actions over time will get you the right people and the right results.

How are you winning the war for talent? Let us know on our KellerInk Facebook page! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

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