I’ve found that a racing team and a business team share many dynamics. My sailing program is small but like a small business it offers the opportunity for new team members to quickly become key players. I recruit the top available talent, keep the culture genuine, celebrate victories and seek out every opportunity to help others get what they want to advance their sailing resume – in service of the team goals – even though it may be in conflict with my personal game plan. The team is stronger for it.
I recall reading in Brad Smart’s book, Topgrading, his idea that B-Players don’t hire A-Players, and in may instances, I agree. Having the confidence to go beyond immediate self-serving is not natural for most of us. Defending self-interest is a hardwired survival skill. Like fight or flight, the risk of our new hire “outperforming” us is a valid fear. But it is a fear we must master if we plan to make our team better.
The military-experienced talent pool is strong. Interviewers will definitely come face-to-face with A-Players, men and women who have accomplished high goals under difficult conditions and circumstances. These interviewers will recognize that landing the next A-Player makes them stronger as their team can benefit from the military leader’s strengths, while the team shares their specific industry and civilian experiences that will make the A-Player a long-term performer. It’s a win for you, them and your business.
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