July 20, 2018

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How to Become More Disciplined as a Recruiter

Iíll never forget my first day as a midshipman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. It was on July 2nd, 1985. It was two days before our nationís birthday. Reagan was President. The Navy was on track to build six hundred ships. The cold war gave everyone a comfortable feeling of knowing exactly who the enemy was. It was a great time to be a patriot. But even though I grew up on four Marine Corps bases as a son of a career marine officer, getting my own head shaved and joining the military was a whole new experience for me.

I knew that if I was going to make it, Iíd have to develop a whole new attitude of discipline. This was really hard for me because my natural state, even to this day, is a state of having fun and enjoying myself. In some ways it seemed to be such a conflict. But I found out that with the right perspective, leading a disciplined life doesnít have to be uncomfortable. In fact, it can be fun. That concept has become the basis of my training and consulting to the industry. If we can turn the arduous nature of the tactics of recruiting into a fun game, then recruiters grow into self-motivated and self-actualized performers, and donít hold back on taking those uncomfortable action steps that are requisites for success.

At Annapolis, I learned that I could become more disciplined in one area of my life if I developed a discipline in another area. If I polished my shoes and kept my uniform inspection-ready at all times, I would see a direct correlation to how eagerly I started studying every afternoon. I saw that these small disciplines would translate into helping me become disciplined in other areas of my life.

I spoke at a large regional meeting for an industry franchise group this past January. There were probably about 300 recruiters in the room. I asked them, "How many of you have been taught to create a daily plan every day before you leave?" Everyoneís hand went up. "How many of you can honestly say that you have done this every single work day for the past six months?" Only about 30 hands went up, ten percent of the room. I told them I appreciated their candid response and that this honesty is the first step to getting better, that they just placed themselves squarely on the path to performance improvement by being transparent and honest. But this showed me clearly why becoming a great recruiter requires so much more than mastering just the tactics of recruiting. Even though learning the tactics of recruiting are critical, they only contribute about ten percent to a recruiterís success. If recruiters are taught what to do and donít do it, then theyíre missing the mark and will never get better. Whatís the point of training if people donít integrate what they learn?

If you want to achieve a disciplined attitude at your desk, consider developing these three daily disciplines. If you create the habit of daily disciplines in these small areas, it will carry over into other areas of your life, such as creating a daily plan. I call them the Three Daily Disciplines of Achievement:

  1. First, write down your three targets for the following day before you go to bed at night. Call your daily outcomes Ďtargetsí, not Ďgoalsí. The world Ďgoalí in sports seems too broad, such as in soccer or football. The word Ďtargetí in sports is much more precise, such as in archery or rifle shooting. Make them precise and specific. Ask yourself this question: ĎIf I achieved only three things tomorrow but would still call it a good day, what would those three things be?í Just by doing this small act every day you will see an immediate improvement in your performance. (NOTE: To get a copy of my weekly target sheet to manage your own performance or the performance of recruiters in your office, visit the free downloads section of my site at this link: GreatRecruiterTraining.

  2. Read every day. When I first got into speaking and training five years ago, my friend and sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer and his staff helped me get started. He wrote the foreword to my first book, gave me tours of his offices, and even had his staff videotape some of my presentations. Iíll never forget what Jeffrey said one night at a speakers meeting: "Read every day. Read just two pages." Only two pages? Why not set a target of reading two or three chapters every day? I took his advice and found that by setting a daily target of reading only two pages from a business or a sales book, I ended up reading about three or four chapters every day. But by setting such an achievable target, I was reading every day. It wasnít just on the weekends, but it was every single day of the week. Reading personal development and sales books is critical to improving. But most people wonít do it because they say they donít have time. But everyone has time to read two pages a day. Itís not how much you read thatís as important as creating the habit of personal improvement. By setting this as a daily target, youíll develop a disciplined habit of personal development and it will carry over into other areas on your desk.

  3. Each morning, choose to win. When you wake up in the morning, you are given a choice. Are you going to have a good day or a bad day? Success isnít earned, itís taken. You take success by declaring your victory before you engage, and then you back it up with action. The problem with this, the simple concept of choosing to win, is that most people will think that itís so simplistic and theyíll overlook it. But every day when you drive to work, say this to yourself: "Today is going to be the most exciting and productive day of my life." If you think that sounds weird and is too simple, then test it. Test it on yourself. Say that to yourself every day for a week and if it doesnít make a difference, then donít do it anymore. But if it does, then you have just unlocked one of the most overlooked secrets to achievement, and you can use this small daily discipline to give you better odds of success.

You donít have to attend a military school to lead a disciplined life. If you can integrate these small daily disciplines of achievement into your personal life, then youíll see big dividends at work as you become a more disciplined recruiter.

- Scott Love

Scott Love

Sign up today for Scott's Online Recruiter Training Center subscription at Scott Loveto receive a monthly training video, free training conference calls, free access to all his webinars, product discounts, access to Scott's question and answer forum and much more!

Copyright © 2011 Scott Love