Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Your number one resource as a business is your employees, not your product or service. You need to attract and retain the best talent for your organization to thrive. But without the right strategy or mindset, you won’t be able to compete. In today’s episode, Jeff is talking to Mike Sarraille and George Randale about how having a “talent mindset” will give you a competitive advantage.
Mike Sarraille and George Randle are the authors of The Talent War. George Randall served in leadership positions in the US Army and was deployed to Cuba and Africa. Mike is a retired and highly decorated U.S. Navy SEAL officer. He served alongside Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, authors of the popular book Extreme Ownership. Together, Mike and George have worked with thousands of veterans. Their organizations help veterans contextualize their experience in the military so that they can succeed as leaders in business.
The backbone of America is made up of small to mid-sized businesses. These businesses are looking for someone with the skills to succeed, regardless of their degree or industry experience. Mike and George help place veterans in these strategic positions and follow them through their first year on the job to ensure they are making the maximum impact.
Why did you write The Talent War, and what do you hope to convey?
The business world is fascinated with the US Special Ops because they are innovative and effective. When you look at their core beliefs, Special Ops believe that people are their greatest asset. We wrote the book because the business world as a whole is getting this point wrong. People are your greatest capital asset and your largest overhead cost. The indirect cost of getting hiring wrong can ruin your culture and sink your company. So, we did a lot of work to discover what special ops does and translate it into a process that businesses can use. Q: Have you ever made a bad hire? How long did it take you to realize you had made a mistake? How long did it take to correct that mistake? What were some of the long-term effects of the mistake?
What is the biggest mistake that you see organizations making when it comes to identifying and onboarding leaders?
There is no plan for succession or for hiring new team members.
They don’t define what success looks like in a certain role.
They give too much weight to experience, which is a quality that is not an indicator of future success.
When you make these three mistakes, you get into fear-based hiring. Companies start incentivizing their HR departments for filling roles quickly instead of hiring the best employee with the greatest chance of success. They do not ask the question, is our hiring process bringing the employees that we need?
What is a “Talent Mindset”?
The Talent Mindset is a deep, core belief that human capital is your most important and critical advantage. Teams live and die by the actions of one individual. I’d rather go out to battle undermanned than overmanned with the wrong people.
Q: Do you believe that people are your most important resource? Why or why not? Why do you think it is better to work with an open position than to fill it with the wrong person?
What makes Special Ops so successful? How can the hiring manager that’s listening adopt these principles to create a talented workforce?
Your core belief has to be that people are the final determinant of success. A lot of people believe that, but they don’t put it into action. CEOs are especially guilty of this because, on the surface, HR does not look like a revenue-generating function. However, it is the largest revenue-generating function because it finds the people to make sales, create marketing campaigns, and produce the product. You have to have a constant and continuous belief in the talent mindset. You can’t abandon it in an emergency. If you are the HR director, you’d better be in the pocket of your CEO. Every conversation they have is about a problem that needs to be solved by PEOPLE. Make sure that you have A-players everywhere to support the processes.
Q: Are you on the same page as your HR team when it comes to hiring? Have you ever had to hire someone in an emergency? Describe the situation. Did the hire work out long-term? Why or why not? What, if anything, would you do differently now that you have listened to this episode?
You can’t hire or fire your way to success. You have to develop, lead and train that talent. At the end of the day, talent wins. It is the most important competitive advantage, and you will win with talent.
What can you do to make yourself valuable to an employer who has a talent mindset? Make a list of some of your strengths and weaknesses. If you need somewhere to start, look at your last performance review. Are there any of your weaknesses that you can improve on? Do your strengths have more to do with what you have done or your character? After looking at the list, find a book to read or conference to attend that will help improve your character and your ability to perform under pressure.
What is your company’s succession plan? Do you have a succession plan for your team members? If you are not sure, talk to your HR team. Consider what you personally can do to help prepare your team members for a new position. Ask yourself, what skills would my best employees need if they were going to take over my job? Then, consider how you can support them as they develop those skills. Consider mentorship programs, books, conferences, or trainings that would be beneficial and work on getting them those resources.
If people are your greatest asset, what are you doing to support and care for them? If you are a leader, look directly at your team members. If you are not yet in a leadership position, how can you support and care for your co-workers? Start by asking each team member what their dreams and goals are for the next 5-10 years. Ask them what they need to achieve those goals. Follow up frequently, and do what you can to help provide them with those resources.