Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Eagles & Turkeys

I believe that one of the most important jobs of a manager is to hire well. However, it is a lot easier said than done. When you find the perfect person for the job, a superstar, an eagle, it is so rewarding watching them grow into that position.

It really is.

However, to find the eagles, you have to go search through a lot of turkeys. A LOT OF TURKEYS. Turkeys look like eagles, they have a beak, they have wings and they have feathers... but the similarities end there.

Turkeys are no eagles.

First of all, turkeys can't fly, they can't defend themselves, and they need to be fed and taken care of. Turkeys are a lot of work,they are high-maintenance. Besides, people eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

Eagles on the other hand, have no natural enemies (name one animal that eats eagles), they can fly and they feed and care for themselves. NO ONE MESSES WITH AN EAGLE.

Not only do eagles fly, THEY SOAR.

Turkeys are high-maintenance and eagles are not. Eagles are self-sufficient.

Eagles are winners.

So the goal of every great manager, is to find as many eagles as possible. THE TEAM WITH THE MOST EAGLES WINS. That's it. It's that simple.

You can now manage.

The job becomes very easy when you have a team full of eagles. But when you have a team full of turkeys, the job becomes extremely difficult. No management technique in the world will save you from a team that has too many turkeys. You will fail as a manager.

In management, there is nothing worse than hiring the wrong people (turkeys). In fact, it is my belief that terminating someone for poor performance is not really the person's fault. That person needed a job. That person did what they had to do to win that job. The fault really lies on the manager for making a hiring mistake. The manager hired a turkey.

When I interview candidates for a position, I go through several people until I find that eagle, that one person that I think has what it takes to get the job done. The funny thing is everyone sounds great on the interviews: "Hire me and I will be your top rep", "hire me and I will solve all of your problems." It would be so much easier to identify the turkeys if they would only tell the truth: "Hire me and I will commit fraud." "Hire me and I will sleep on the job."

Because everyone sounds the same and their credentials of the different candidates are similar, I like to dig a little deeper. The key to finding the eagles, is to find out if they have a WHY. What motivates them? Why are they here? How do they feel if they miss goal? Do they care?

People that have a WHY, can make things happen. These are the eagles.

People that don't have a WHY, will just watch things happen. These are the turkeys.

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