In order to succeed, companies need great people. This means it is essential to have an effective strategy for recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent. But winning the war for talent requires much more than simply hiring high performers. It also requires building an organizational culture that maximizes the talent and performance of the people you already have.
The companies that are winning the war for talent have figured out how to get the best out of all their people. These companies don’t win by simply out-recruiting other companies; they win because they are exceptional at unleashing the energy and talent of everyone in the business. As a byproduct of how they operate, these companies are also better at attracting and retaining the right people. That is because people want to work in an organization with a culture that empowers them to grow, develop, and maximize their talents.
Leadership plays a critical role in creating and shaping a work environment that attracts talent and brings out the best in people. Exceptional leaders ignite the spirit of people and teams, and they provide the focus and energy that enable people to work together to achieve great things. Exceptional leaders tap into the wealth of knowledge, creativity, and experience that resides within the hearts and minds of the people who do the work of the business every day. Exceptional leaders create an environment of deep trust and high standards. They put a priority on relationships and results, and they refuse to compromise one for the other.
Great leaders are a magnet for great talent. Yes, you need to talent to win, but talent cannot replace leadership. There is a long line of companies full of talented people who fail to produce results equal to their talent. Leadership takes companies beyond talent to a place reserved for the truly exceptional. It doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because executives, managers, and supervisors throughout the organization are willing to respond to the everyday challenge of leadership.
In athletics, assembling a team with the best individual talent is a surprisingly unsuccessful formula for winning championships. It is not the team with the best players that wins. Championships are won by the team with leaders who are able to create the kind of chemistry and cohesion that inspires athletes to play together and compete at the highest level.
The same holds true for a business. The best companies consistently win because they have leaders who are able to create the kind of chemistry and cohesion that inspires people to work with each other and for customers in a constantly changing, highly competitive world.
Leaders have a profound impact on culture, and culture has a profound impact on performance. Nothing influences daily execution more powerfully than culture, and nothing influences culture more powerfully than the effectiveness of leaders. The culture created by leaders determines how people do the work to operate the business, solve problems, and get things done.
Nothing can stop the company that harnesses the power of leadership. Nothing can help the company that doesn’t.