Over the past few months I’ve witnessed first hand a major problem larger businesses tend to share when planning for a new senior hire into their business.
Within the markets that I serve – Building Products and Construction – in the last six months alone I have been faced with this problem on four separate briefing meetings. As Simon Sinek would put it, this problem, on lack of joined up thinking by stakeholders, has been “the Why”.
Last week I took a briefing from a £10m turnover materials manufacturer who are looking to scale the business, looking to drive growth to £50m inside the next five years. That conversation couldn’t have been any different to the four highlighted above. Together with a marketing consultant the manufacturer has been working with, pre meeting they shared three comprehensively put together documents outlining what they were looking for in this person, what they were looking to drive from their investment and a compelling story as to why they’re a business people should want to join.
Furthermore, the Managing Director was happy to spend as much time as it was necessary to in order for me to understand everything and offered to meet up at their manufacturing facility for me to further appreciate the application of their product.
This has armed me with an extremely compelling story to take to the market whilst headhunting and will also quickly flesh out those who are not up to the task.
Conversely, with the four larger manufactures within the building material arena that I’ve recently worked with, an hour was set aside for the briefing meeting, with little (if any) thought given to why the business should be an employer of choice. Yes, they were able to convey generic company information – for example revenue, focus on market growth and generic (dare I say tick box) cultural information – but little real substance around why someone should hand their notice in to join them.
The moral of this story is clear: Irrespective of your size, position, or name in the market, please take the time to sit down with fellow stakeholders to understand what is really needed from any investment into your hierarchical structure and really why someone should sit up and listen to your company’s story.
How do you explain why others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all the assumptions? That's the question Simon Sinek set out to explain in his 2009 TEDx Talk in Puget Sound, WA. Sinek provides examples from the success of Apple Inc., the movement started by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the Wright brothers being the first to achieve powered-man flight. In each situation, they seem to defy all the odds and prevail with their cause. Sinek made a discovery in 2005 that profoundly changed his view on how he thought the world worked and the way in which he operates in it. This discovery was the uncovering of a pattern in which all the great leaders would think, act and communicate. It's opposite of everyone else.