An exceptional leader realizes that their team’s success is all that matters.
Who you attract and retain will make or break your success as a company. Your role as their leader is what cements that success. They say that people stay or leave because of their boss. For the most part that’s true… for optimized productivity it’s an absolute. So what are the top three things you can do to attract and retain the right people?
- Value expertise, authenticity, emotional resilience, and communication. I get you may require things like a college degree or specific years of experience, but be thoughtful of the pitfalls of these. Specific years do not equate to expertise. I’ve met people with decades of experience that I would never consider an expert in that field. A college degree, itself, doesn’t make one smarter, capable, productive, or aligned with you. Promoting people based on years within a role is a common mistake. Years don’t equate to maturity or betterment… actions do. Test their expertise, spot and evaluate their authenticity, challenge their resilience, and absorb how they communicate. Those are the most factual indicators of future success.
- Incent the behavior you want. This is a two-part issue. You have to incent the desired behavior, NOT the outcome. If you incent the outcome you’re discounting the “how” it might get done. “How” is important since it couples itself with authenticity and resilience. Team coherence and the growth of the many depends on your weakest link. Encouraging authenticity and resilience mitigate a weak link. Note that both human psychology and sociology affect how you incentivize. You will use both “the carrot” and “the stick”. The trick is to gauge each and continuously reevaluate the balance between the two.
- Setting high expectations mean you give exceptional rewards. We are seeing this new set of needs for exceptional talent. Remote working, flexible hours, higher wages, better benefits, etc. You need to offer these in order to attract top talent… but you can confidently set high expectations for these offerings. Top talent should be expected to be experts, continue to grow and learn, manage themselves, take initiative, communicate and resolve conflict, manage risk, be productive and optimize their efforts, and exceed all goals. If they can’t, they’re not the right person for the role.
As a leader you guide your team via your actions, direction, behavioral example, vision, and support. You expect your team to do the same… and incentivize that behavior with cutting edge benefits. When you’re looking for new talent use bullet 1. To attract and keep top talent use bullets 2 and 3.
Your resilience in leadership is what will support an exceptional team.