A Week to REELAX – Part I

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“Talent hits a target no one else can hit.  Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

–     Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860), German philosopher

This week, we’ll focus on The Heston Group’s framework for leading a business.  There can be a ton of stress in owning or running a business, and our philosophy and practices are aimed at helping private company’s leaders “reelax.”

It starts with talent.

The “R” means our first obligation is to recruit (and retain) the best talent we can possibly afford.  Because it all starts with talent.  There are some corollaries here, as with each other letter in the acronym.

Corollary #1:  It is better to be short-staffed than poorly-staffed.  Too often we fill a position instead of selecting the right talent.  If you have no open requisitions, but find the perfect addition to the roster, hire them anyway.  If you have six open positions, but no candidates that make the team better, don’t hire any of them.  Your top performers will notice, and appreciate the conscious, intentional commitment to improving the team.

Corollary #2:  De-selection is almost as important as selection.  It doesn’t matter how long someone has been in place, unless they’re making the team better.  That means that a key part of retaining talent is developing talent.  Constantly finding ways to challenge and grow key members of the team is crucial to long-term success.  And, when someone reaches their maximum potential, either because they’re unwilling or unable to keep growing, we have to choose; we either let them know that there won’t be any more upward movement, or we help them find a home somewhere else.  Moving people to great new careers can be a huge selling point in recruiting, because not everyone can grow up to be the boss, and when we get the “R” just right, that means we’ll become a employer of choice for high potentials, who will know that we’ll help them have the best possible future — here, or wherever they can make a difference.

Corollary #2-B:  De-selection is even more important when someone has stopped growing or is otherwise holding back the organization.  It should never be fun firing people, but again, your top performers will notice and appreciate it when you remove people who are holding the company back.  Regardless of rank, tenure, title or role.  And, they’ll notice when you don’t, at your own peril.

Back to the quote:  Relentlessly focusing on talent means you’ll keep raising the bar.  Getting talent so right that it evolves into genius means that you’ll set the bar for your market.  I bet we’d sign up for either of those two outcomes, right?

REELAX:  The “R” means recruit and retain the best talent we can possibly afford.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the two “E’s…”

 


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  1. […] have to select talent well for this approach to work.  We have to develop talent well for this approach to work.  We have to […]

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