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:
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
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Copyright © 2011 Scott Love