Recruiting and hiring top talent is part of every leader’s responsibility. If you are doing things right, you will be attracting talent to your team and organization. One thing I don’t see very often is what many people call “opposites attract”. I actually see the opposite. I don’t see positive people attracting negative people and negative people attracting positive people. It doesn’t typically work that way. When it does happen, it doesn’t last long. People who decide to be negative are not usually their best negative selves around positive people and vice versa. Sometimes you have to fight this strong principle when you are drawn to hire people who are too similar to you. People who have the same background, interests, skill sets or even race or education. Organizations who understand this well put diversity training and programs in place to try to counteract this strong inclination. Birds of a feather do tend to flock together.
Great leaders look past these similarities to identify what the organization needs the most to win. Phil Jackson, in his book “Eleven Rings” relates how he knew Dennis Rodman was going to be different than anyone else on the Chicago Bulls team he was coaching and very different from any player he had or quite possibly, would ever coach in his career. Dennis was physically different, dressed different, wore his hair different and behaved differently, not just than the players on the Bulls team, but differently than any other player in the NBA. That was also a positive key, he played differently. He didn’t care about scoring. He played hard. He played long. He played for defense and to rebound the ball. Typically coaches have to urge players to focus on defense. Not Dennis, that is where he wanted to be the best, twice winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and being named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times. Dennis and Phil had absolutely nothing in common, but Phil was savvy enough to get past that and find ways to bring out the best in Dennis helping the Bulls team win championships.
This Week’s Focus Point: Remember, you are the guardian of the culture. Putting together a talented, diverse team of people who work together to win is no easy task. That is why multi-year championship dynasties in sports are rare. It’s easier to put together a championship team than it is to keep one together, so once you have identified and selected the best people for your team, your job has a leader is just in it’s infancy stage. You make the transition from recruiter to leader, coach, teacher and mentor and each of these roles have specific approaches and skills you must develop and improve.
This Week’s Action Step: Identify the talent and skills you need for your team to be the best. Do a self-analysis on yourself to identify your attributes and skills, then determine if you need more people like you or do you need something else? What do your current team members need from you now while you are rounding out the team?
As always, let me know how I can help!