Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Making it Work is the Wrong Approach. Here’s a better way.

It starts from the time we are born. Most of us get the message that we can’t have everything we want in life; we have to work at the things we’re not good at. We must be balanced, not tip one way or the other, and we have to get along with every- body. Parents, teachers, and guidance counsellors alike advise us to compromise, comply, bend, and, above all, “make it work.”

Does that make sense? When I asked myself why the talent I had recruited in the past had been so successful, I came to a startling conclusion. It wasn’t because they tried hard at things they weren’t good at. It wasn’t because they were necessarily balanced and got along with everybody. The key was that they did what they were really good at. And their personality fit the culture of the workplace. They were, in other words, a true fit.

Now, after a lot of stops and starts, I am the definition of a true fit. I know what I’m really good at doing. I’m really good at being a trusted adviser to my clients. I execute that role in three ways: I help them recruit, I help them figure out why businesses don’t work (which usually means they have the wrong people in the business), and I coach them and their teams to be more effective. I know I’m a true fit in my business in that I am utilizing 100 percent of the skills that I am good at, and I’m mostly not required to use any of the things that I’m not good at. At the core of my day, what I do makes for a pretty happy life. It’s not perfect, though. There are always ups and downs. I wish I made more money and had more work.

People who hire me need my skills as a trusted adviser to help them recruit for a new position or to find a job that suits their abilities. But they also have to want me and the way I work. I’m like a good old-fashioned matchmaker. I work best with people who trust me to find the right fit for them. A client who’s a true fit, then, needs the service I can give them and wants the way I work. They need me and they want me.

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