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Monday Motivation

My first real experience in gardening was after my first year of university. I stuck around for a week after classes let out, and helped some of my dorm-mates landscape our dorm for our rector. It was mostly planting flowers in flower beds and at the foot of the big trees. It didn't look all that great by the time we were finished - the flowers were kind of scrawny and had a lot of space between them. Then I went home for the summer.

When I came back to campus in the fall, I was amazed at the progress our flowers had made over the summer. They had grown tall and filled in the gaps so there was a carpet of color around all around the dorm and the trees. I'm sure if I had been there every day that summer, I would not have noticed the progress my little flowers made.

Years later, I moved into a neighborhood just a few years after it was built. The homebuilder had landscaped each house for instant curb-appeal. Evergreen shrubs, and three trees planted in the front yard (the cheapest they could get, know doubt). Ten years after the neighborhood was built, the most of the shrubs are huge, and crowding out everything else in their beds and pushing into the walkways. The trees that have survived (many have not) are overgrown and completely obscure the houses they were meant to compliment. Several of my neighbors have had to completely start over, cutting down trees and ripping out the shrubs.

There are some lessons in this that we as leaders can take away. As we build teams and organizations, we need to find balance between "looks good now" vs. can grow into something spectacular. It's not easy. We see it all the time - our clients ask us to find someone who fits what they need right now, the been-there, done that, candidate identical in experience to the person who was just in the role. This offers little incentive for people to aspire to a new role and grow their careers. The other risk is they will get bored quickly and leave.

The other challenge to hiring for a team for right now is that a role can grow as fast (or faster) as the person in it. Some companies are famous for letting people go once that have served their purpose. I get the concept, but it can be expensive on many fronts to run a company that way. It creates a culture of me-first opportunists who do what is right for them, often to the detriment of the organization as a whole.

The best strategy is to hire smart and capable people who can grow into a new role - as they will be much more engaged in their job in the long run. And give them opportunities to keep growing within the organization, even if it means losing some of your best players to other teams. The other option would be to lose them to a company that does offer them career growth.

Building the right teams is really hard - but it is what we do. We help organizations find & hire the best talent in the market so they can grow. If you need help, or are ready for a new career move, please let us know how we can help.

The Rivet Group is a Veteran-owned recruiting and consulting company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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