Three Keys to Become Champions of Talent

Posted by Scott Barron on Feb 13, 2016 2:24:57 PM
Scott Barron
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The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 and in the process demonstrated some best practices for leadership and management. Their organization exemplified the three keys to maximum engagement and success to join the Champions of Talent.

Have you noticed that some teams and some companies have the unusual ability to attract great talent AND then they create an environment that achieves a remarkable level of results? (i.e., they WIN!) They have a HUGE competitive advantage because they've learned how to energetically engage their people, which results in an increase in productivity, Champions_of_Talent.jpginnovation, and overall performance while also reducing costs related to hiring, operations, and retention. 

But how does the Broncos success translate into your world? How do you replicate the ability of like-minded Champions of Talent to benefit from this advantage? Below are three keys to help you win.

Key #1: Purposefully Hire Great People

You can't win without the right people--those who are qualified to do the job, but who also bring the intrinsic commitment and motivation to achieve the mission. When your coaches (managers) and players (employees) have the talent and remarkable engagement, you've got a winning combination.

When the Broncos hired Gary Kubiak as their head coach they created strong alignment with their goals, but it was the recruitment of defensive genius Wade Phillips that propelled them to such dominance. These two coaches had the humility and collaborative spirit to work together to attain the organization's ultimate goal. Then they recruited great free agent talent, rather than just picking up some journeyman role players. 

If the Broncos or Disney or Google utilized your current hiring practices, would they still be as successful? Would they still be in business?

What we can learn from those who have purposefully hired great people is that they rely far more on data than gut feel. They use more science than art to determine the expected contributions of a prospective employee, recognizing that past performance is the best indicator of future results. They also understand that sometimes hiring great people means you have to un-hire people who are unable to positively and effectively contribute to the team and the mission.

Key #2: Know How to Win

Every team and company wants to win their own version of the Super Bowl, and they may even have a business/strategic plan that does a good job of defining an overall path to success. Champion leaders who achieve at the highest level, however, have a tactical game plan that enables them to respond to real-life conditions, making adjustments and maneuvers to learn faster and more effectively. This enables them maximize the value proposition of their collective strengths to take advantage of opportunities and overcome the threats from competition, regulation, unexpected changes, etc.

Ineffective leaders waste resources in fighting a battle that contributes nothing to the overall goals. To compete and even win in situations that do not benefit the organization's strategic plan results in the misuse of limited time and resources. Champions of talent know that to win, they must:

* Develop a compelling story around the "Why" of their mission and organization
* Intentionally cultivate deep relationships
* Invest in their unique genius and purpose fulfillment
* Establish concrete, motivating goals of which everyone can be proud for achieving

Key #3: Create a Culture for Great People to Thrive

Hiring great people and then treating them like they're not usually backfires. Champions of Talent know that to attract and retain great people requires building a culture that enables them to thrive. That means your first target market as an organization isn't a certain set of clients--its a specific set of prospective employees who believe what you believe and have the talent to get you where you want to go. 

The design of your culture will likely have to adapt to the characteristics of younger employees, requiring greater expertise in multi-generational and inter-generational management. Autonomy with accountability will be a priority to improve engagement, as will investment in the learning and coaching resources to support mastery of the knowledge, skills, and habits that are vital to organizational and personal success. Great people want to work with great people who make each other better. 

The U.S. is approaching full employment (around 5% unemployment nationally), which means current and prospective employees have more options. In other words, the competition for the best people is going to heat up even more. Champions of Talent will be the ones who win in this highly competitive economy, regardless of the industry, because they are experts at purposefully hiring great people, setting concrete, motivating goals, and creating a culture in which they can thrive. 


Topics: Engagement, Leadership, Culture