Yeah, you’ve said it, surrounding yourself with top talent is essential and the landscape is so competitive that you really do have to find that top talent. I’ve hired some great leaders and I’ve hired some not so great leaders. And we talked about sometimes have to exit leaders, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to hire people that bring something new to the team. You can get stuck in, everybody’s starting to think the same way. And so, bringing in a different industry, in a unique skill or a certification that no one on the team has it’s fosters new discussions, even bringing two teams together under the same umbrella can unlock potential that you didn’t know existed cause those teams might have sat in different verticals and had different goals. So, you can sometimes do that inside your own organization, but often you have to bring that new talent in, just to infuse that new spark of innovation.
Another piece of hiring advice is to hire people who are going to challenge you. And the last thing you want to do is get around the table and everybody shake their head and agree. You want those team members that are going to debate with you, push you to think different than you do today. I just read an article this morning. One of those blogs that pops up for two minutes in the morning around leaders checking their ego at the door. And one of the things that resonated with me is. I don’t have to have all the answers. I need to surround myself with a team that can create the answers by working together or by going back to their team and bringing answers back.
So, I really have started to look more and more as I’ve advanced my career for people who are going to debate with me, for people who are going to tell me I’m wrong, for people who are going to challenge me. And previously, I probably would have taken that personally, like, wait a minute, I’ve done this for a long time, and it’s not the case. You have to recognize that your job now is to assemble a team of leaders that can help move the business forward rather than try and do it yourself. And that’s where you just kind of check yourself and check any ego at the door and recognize that everybody plays such a critical piece or critical place on the team. I think once you have that team assembled, you really have to help them see the vision, maybe see the road, but you don’t have to give them the map. That’s what you want to have your team develop. You set the vision, confirm the expectations, remove the obstacles as a leader. That’s one of my primary jobs is remove those obstacles so that team can keep pressing forward.
And then frankly, get out of the way. Give people space to perform. The last thing I want is my boss looking over my shoulder and I know my team doesn’t want me looking over their shoulder. So it’s really around knowing what those employees need from you as the leader. And if they’re not telling you, listening to hear what they need from you, because often it’s the things that you’re not hearing that help you identify where those obstacles are.
And then when it really comes to kind of retaining, everyone that I’ve met that’s high performing wants to continue to learn. So how do I offer opportunities such as challenging assignments, exposure to others, maybe formal development programs or a project outside their area of expertise. That’s what I tend to see gets the juices flowing and less lately on formal development programs and more about immersion into current business topics, current projects than anything.
And then I think it goes without saying, but people want to be recognized and rewarded for doing a great job. So, leveraging the ability when you have that opportunity for compensation time or bonus time to do the right things in terms of rewarding your team, and then publicly thanking them or thanking them in a way that they like to be thanked and everybody’s different. So, you have to find what works for each one of those individuals. Mike Ogle: [00:26:03] One of the interesting aspects when I hear people talk about challenge me, and I absolutely 100% agree with that kind of mentality within teams, then there’s occasionally the, well, I didn’t mean for you to challenge me that way in the group meeting that day when the eight to 10 of us were around the table, and I said, this is the direction we needed to go.