State of the Union: Executive Leadership | Human Capital

I like to call the role most Executive Leadership find themselves in ‘the squeeze.’  I concede that while there is multiple reasons why that could apply...however in this context from a war for talent standpoint. 


The problem most Executive Leadership faces is multifaceted.  Typically they have dotted line or in some cases direct reporting to the CEO, Board, etc.  Their major role is to make sure their department meets the objectives so their companies earning reports and guidance to analyst hopefully exceed expectations.  If they oversee engineering but their R&D is lacking proper leadership they may not release a product in time to meet their goals.  If they are SVP of Global Sales and their sales managers do not have their headcount full or just as bad have under performing Account Executives...that is direct front line revenue lost.  If the head of manufacturing has poorly performing facilities or mismanaged supply chain and they cannot physically ship the orders in time for it to count toward their revenue goals then that could be detriment.  

The point that I am exhausting is every function must run properly in order for a company to meet their objectives.  I understand there is a certain amount of assumption on that statement, however, it takes the proper human capital to achieve this.  

Take into account that the theory of a top performer is their output exceeds their counterparts by up to 10X’s.  Lets extrapolate that.  If you do not have a top performing sales team, then your competitor ...regardless of product quality, could out perform your team 10:1 ... even weighting that with embedded obstacles like scale, existing contracts, etc ... that number is still easily 7:1.... A devastating number.  

The same ideas can be weighted again in every aspect of the business.  The problem for Leadership is their recruiting departments are typically more concerned with a multicolor metrics report on why they are failing rather then making not only their numbers...but quality hires.  

Here is how the Method can help Sr. Leadership from the top down:

1) Get involved personally with staffing the best talent.  I am aware that as a Sr. Leader you have no time...but isn’t that always the case.  However, what if your division was performing 5-6X better then anyone in your industry while at the same time performing 10X better then any other division in your company?   You do not need to overwhelm yourself.  You need 1 TRUE executive recruiting partner.  This could be internal (I recommend hiring outside the organization) or a trusted third party...although you will get overall more value in the long term by having a dedicated internal partner...even if he or she is a contractor.  Expect to pay 100-150hr for this level of recruiter/sourcer.  Then you (the senior leadership) partnered directly and ONLY with the recruiter and the reporting hiring manager to take on 1 key hire a month.  Just one.  Now, frankly, this may require starting with upgrading your own managers...none the less just one per month.  Allow the rest of staffing and your organization to function as it has...or better yet implement the method (explained later) while you work the leadership method from the top.  Within 18 months you will probably be CEO of your company...or at very least its own resident Rock Star. 

2) So how do you actually find the best?  Simple really...who is kicking your ass?  Its the easiest to find these people in sales...but what about other verticals?  Great way to find these folks is via industry conferences, blogs, and publications.  Yes they will come with a premium...but even if they cost twice as much as the normal salary but produce 8 times the production, you still have heck of an ROI.  

3) How do you keep you top producers?  Its build it and they will come.  Unfortunately so will the wolves.  So how do you protect your top talent?  You must build a personal 1:1 relationship with your top them so well that they will simply not talk to another recruiter...make it personal.  Authentic relationships are still the trump card!