June 25, 2018

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Core Competency #10: Ownership of Results and Training

When I was 24 years old I was a leadership trainer when I was a young naval officer. I taught Deming management methods to thousands of naval officers and sailors when I was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. W. Edwards Deming, one of the pioneers of contemporary management thought and a business legend in Japan, said that all managers must commit to continuous improvement. Everything can always get better, no matter how good it already is.

Want to add at least twenty percent to your margins without spending more time in the office? Then improve your process. Hereís a simple formula to doing it: Step one: Take full ownership of the results on your desk. Step two: Find out whatís working and do more of that. Step Three: Find out whatís not working and do less of that.

Success in executive search is dependent upon getting the right knowledge and applying it in the right sequence with the right frequency and intention. But unless you are taking ownership of your own training, you are missing the abundance that awaits you. When it comes to performance improvement, training must have elevated status as a core competency.

Based on what Iíve seen among top producers in the industry, it confirms what Iíve heard Brian Tracy say over and over again. The leading performers of sales organizations all have one thing in common: they buy their own books and tapes, pay their own way for conventions and meetings, and consider investing regularly in their own personal development. In other words, they take full ownership of their results and are always actively looking to improve their performance.

Here are eight ideas that will help you integrate this model of success into your desk:

  1. Commit to continuous and never-ending improvement. There is a risk in doing this because when you take this step, you are telling the world that you donít know it all. This requires a healthy self-confidence level without the fragile and over-inflated ego. Impossible for a few in our business who let their egos drive their billings and attach their self-worth to how much they make. But if you develop a healthy sense of who you are and can admit you can still learn something, then you are beginning your journey to greatness.

  2. Identify those variables which determine success. What constitutes success in your office? Figure it out and get it on paper. Interviews, offers, acceptances, fees, billings, number of clients, etc.

  3. Begin to measure the appropriate ratios between the variables that count. Anything that is measured generally improves over time. More on this next week.

  4. Set a budget of what you intend to invest in training. Perhaps you can make this a percentage of your monthly income or quarterly revenue. For every dollar you invest in training, you should expect to get at least ten dollars back. Start with one percent of your revenue or income, then go to two percent, then three percent each month. Remember that the more you invest in your own personal and professional development, the more you will get back from it.

  5. Attend meetings with others who are on the same path that you are on. Join an association or meet regularly with other colleagues who are top producers. When I first got into the speaking business a few years ago, I would have monthly conference calls with friends who were also committed to winning in that business. I still attend regular meetings with other professional speakers where we learn to polish our platform skills, develop products, and market our services. In search itís no different. In fact, because the staffing and recruiting business is so intense and depends so much on nuance and subtleties, itís imperative that you plug in with a group of people who can support you and where you can support them.

  6. Set training goals for yourself for the rest of the year, and break it down into weekly goals. How many tapes do you want to listen to? Which ones? Which books do you wish to read? Anytime you see a book you want to read, buy it and keep it in a stack to go through when you have the time.

  7. Find a mentor to guide you in your growth. It could be a manager, friend, co-worker, consultant, or coach. For an article on developing an internal mentorship program, Click Here.

  8. Change the way you view training. I have never met a top performer who said they hated training. Instead, they were passionate about it. This perspective makes a good recruiter an amazing recruiter. If you donít want your clients to think you are amazing, then donít train. But if you do, and if you want them to think of you first when they have a need, then this needs to be a priority.

Success is deliberate and intentional and does not occur because of random chance. There is a method and a process to it. The sooner you start to create success with intentional focus and effort, the sooner you reap the rewards. Start today and adopt this model of ownership to your desk. Do it today. Do it now.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2004 Scott Love

Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the profit margins of search firms. To book him for in-house training and consulting or your next franchise, corporate, or association meeting, call him at 828-225-7700.