We were totally inspired to hear the great Sir Ranulph Fiennes, (http://www.ranulphfiennes.co.uk/) the world’s greatest living explorer, speak at the Salisbury Business event run by the local Chamber of Commerce. What an amazing man, the level of commitment and self belief was beyond anything we had ever heard. The man is amazing and in a totally different league to anyone else we have ever met! So how does he choose his team? He spoke about how he had 800 applicants for his 2 expedition places. This really resonated with us at Baobab Growth – we all have to choose new people to join us on our journey – how do we make sure we choose the right people to complement our team and ensure the continued success of our business?
There are so many ways of choosing, many people say I just ‘know’ – it is ‘a gut feeling’. This may work for some people and when you are a small business maybe this is the best way? However when recruiting we have criteria to meet, rules to follow – employment law to make sure we are doing it right and are being fair. The first stage of choosing is often from a written application or CV – how do you really know from this static faceless piece of paper you have chosen the right people to take through to the next phase?
We could use personality tools such as
These tests give insights about our learning preferences and strengths and can be useful when putting together teams of people as they can help you work with individual’s strengths. However, if used rigidly they can also lead to people potentially being ‘pigeon holed’ as only being able or useful in a certain role.
We could have Interview days – to test a person’s skills and experience and get to know the individual. There are clearly so many tools, approaches and options available to help us chose the right people to join our business team. So why do so many organisation get it wrong – even after spending a fortune on recruitment?!
At Baobab Growth we like the approach put forward by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. What he said at his talk in Salisbury, and repeats in many of the 23 books he has written, is that what is important to him is not whether the person is fit enough, is tough enough, and has the right skills set or qualifications. The one thing he always looks for is what motivates the person. Their mindset. A strong and total belief in what they are doing. In his experience of choosing people he said what he found was that people with a strong belief were the right people for him. They stuck with him, their strength of mind saw them through the challenges. He could teach them everything else, if they had the right mindset he could train them to the necessary skill and fitness level, but without the right belief and mindset there was no team.
So maybe rather than scoring a person against a Job Specification and skills set we should find out what motivates them. To be able to match them with our team perhaps we first need to focus on clarifying what is most important to our business. What is it that motivates the business to perform? Some people refer to this as the business culture. Maybe it is more than this? Maybe it is focussing on what is at the heart of our business, what the business really believes in, what makes it ‘tick’, what is absolutely critical to the business success? What it is, that if it were taken away, would cause the business to fail? It is important for a business to truly understand itself. What is at its heart. What it is that is unique to it, and what motivates its people to perform to their best, before it can look for the right people to complement and add value to its team.
At Baobab Growth we work with you and your business to help you gain clarity and understanding of what makes your business a success. We then support you to make sure your people are working as effectively as possible to ensure the business grows and delivers the results you are looking for. Thank you Sir Ranulph for your inspiration!