very recruiter knows that you have to hire the best people for the job, but companies vary on the tasks they decide to assign to their teams. They may place them in roles where they are constantly putting out fires or working on small projects that keep the company running but don’t necessarily propel it forward. This approach, while understandable, is shortsighted. You should trust your A Players with your most exciting, most profitable projects.
After methodically studying what distinguishes successful businesses from also-rans, author Jim Collins published his findings in the bestselling book, Good to Great. Collins and his researchers discovered that the most skillful leaders were deliberate about how they used talent. As Collins explained, “if you have the right people on your bus, you don’t need to worry about motivating them. The right people are self-motivated: Nothing beats being part of a team that is expected to produce great results.”
Rather than incentivizing people with external rewards, like high salaries and bonuses, great leaders create conditions for people to flourish. They give them tools and resources to do amazing things and then get out of their way. This kind of empowerment awakens a drive to do good work, which leads in turn to profit for the company.
Imagine that you run a doctor’s office that is looking to open a second location. You recruit an incredible new hire to help with this transition. She has a passionate vision for how to market the new location, decorate the office, and staff up. Rather than let her work on this opportunity, though, you task her with mundane clerical work and managing interoffice drama. You justify this change of scope by saying, essentially, “these things need to get done, and we need someone to do them”. However, this off-scope work demoralizes the new hire. She handles the new tasks competently, but the drudgery saps her energy, causing months-long delays for the new office. Perhaps she even leaves midway through the transition after finding a job with a rival office that recognizes her skills better.
A great leader consciously keeps new hires focused on activities that are profitable. The leader does not get distracted by the needs of the moment. She recognizes the long-term value of expanding into new areas, even at the cost of short-term losses.
Keeping your best people focused on amazing opportunities, instead of on problems of the moment, requires concentration. However, this dedication can pay off in spades. Consider a restaurant that hires an award-winning pastry chef. If they ask him to recreate the same pastries as the last chef did, he might get bored and leave or just zone out at work. If, on the other hand, management empowers the chef to get creative and play to his strengths, he may just come up with a fantastic new dessert that improves the restaurant’s reputation and generates more business.
This spirit of empowering excellence drives what we do here at Athenix Marketing. We want to expand your vision and your reach, using creativity, a disciplined approach, and battled-tested tools. Please connect with us today for a free consultation.