How to Mine Great Talent Within Your Organization and Beyond
Execution always follows good planning—or at least it should. But many leaders fail to execute strategies for a number of reasons, including lack of resources. By resources, I don’t just mean the money or tools to get the job done but the people. When you have the right talent, it helps in terms of executing against even some of the loftiest of goals. What’s more, as the famed Goethe pointed out, “A really great talent finds happiness in execution.” This simply means that you’ll know you’ve got the right people on board when you witness their genuine joy as they execute against their goals. Disciplined Leaders clearly understand that their people are their greatest asset and that, without them, effective execution is impossible.
Here’s how to mine great talent within your organization and beyond:
Question what you may be missing. When was the last time you took a close look at the skills and abilities of your current hires? Over time, people change, and yet often motivated, capable ones take initiative to better themselves sometimes unbeknownst to you or others. So start asking questions. Find out whose got what you’re looking for, as in who may be the right person for a specific job you’re striving to fill or a particular demand you’re trying to meet. It may be that someone unexpected has the exact skill or ability to do what you need but unless you ask, you simply won’t know. Then whenever possible, empower people to step up and use those strengths and talents that haven’t been put to use.
Polish diamonds in the rough. Some of your hires may be nearly perfect yet lack some key training or understanding that could really make them shine. Again, go on a fact-finding mission but, this time, to find out who needs help, a little extra support or training. If you’ve noted an otherwise A+ player is struggling with execution, find out what this individual needs to empower him or her to thrive. Providing these types of hires with the right tools, resources, or learning to do their jobs well may be all that’s needed to inspire consistent execution. When people have that little extra something they need to do something well, they are more likely to take consistent action and succeed in execution.
Onboard experienced executionists. This is about being purposeful in your hiring, specifically seeking out candidates who’ve demonstrated that they have a thrill for and thrive off execution. How do you go about this discovery? In interviews, ask them to provide examples of success and dig deep to determine their role in executing against a particular strategy, goal or aspect of the success. Then go even deeper, asking why their involvement mattered, looking for verbal and nonverbal communications that signal genuine commitment, excitement, and even passion. When you find someone who has demonstrated effective execution in past performance, it’s a strong indicator that, given the best of circumstances, they’ll be excellent at execution in the future.
How do you personally struggle with execution in your role as a Disciplined Leader?