Hey Scott, I’m leaving.

I’m putting in my paperwork man, I’m done.
I was shocked when I was on a phone call with this guy; we’ll call him Bob. Bob
was one of the best Special Forces Officers I ever met. This guy, I talk about him
in my book Game Changers under a different name. He was just amazing.
Thoughtful, energetic, composed, engaging. He was the quintessential special
forces officer. The guy you wanted to be around. He had such vision for the
Regiment and where we were going. I would trust this guy with my life. You know,
the guy you could imagine leading the entire Special Forces Regiment. He called
me to tell me he’s getting out of the Army because he had not been selected for a
command in Special Forces.

And I thought to myself, how in the world is this possible? How could my
organization be so blind to the sheer talent that this guy is, and what they are
potentially losing by this guy walking away. It just baffled me. I was actually
already out of the Army and thank goodness he did end up sticking around. He’s
done some great things and continues to do great things. But you know what? It’s
not because of his commanders. it’s because of his work to stay value added.
So I mean it’s just the fortune of the nation that this guy is so committed to
something bigger than himself that he has stuck around and found a way to
continue to add value and to continue to find fulfillment in his life. But how many
people are gonna do that? I work a lot in Corporate America in the leadership
front and the trust restoration front. I mean everything from auto salvage to
banking to mortgages to steel production and even in law enforcement. I see it
everywhere I look, it’s just horrible management of talent. And in fact it’s my
producer and integrator, Wes, who brought this up. He’s like, “We should do a
video blog on mining talent.” You know, because it’s so horrendous. Talent is just
slipping through our fingers, as he calls it.

As always, he’s always on point with the social ills of the corporate world and so
hey, I’m bringing it out, I’m happy to talk about it because I’m in there running the
seams every day and I see it. I see organizations where they cannot mine their
own talent. You’ve got to do it. If you think about it from an organizational
perspective, humans are social creatures, we’re born to group and if we don’t
group, we die. We don’t exist anymore, right? And as a social organization, you
have to invest in your talent and I mean a human investment. I’m talking about
actually in your mindset, in your skillset, make it a core part of who you are and
the culture you build as a leader. If you don’t, you’re not gonna make it
organizationally, you’re gonna die. It’s just a matter of time. It may outlive you a
little bit but not much, right?

So there’s three things I wanna give you today in this short little video blog that
you could do right now to just improve how you mine talent in your business.
Number one, stop ,thin slicing,. Stop thin slicing to look for your talent. There’s a
wonderful book called the “Gold Mine Effect” and one of the things the author
talks about in that book is that most of the Human Resources people and most of
the talent scouts, they ‘thin slice’. And over 50% of the talented individuals are
below the surface of that ‘thin slice’ look that talent scouts put out there, that HR
people put out there, that business leaders put out there.
We don’t take the time to look deeper and really understand where the talent is.
So at least 50% of the talented folks never get tapped into. You know, Michael
Jordan was cut from his first basketball team. How’d you like to be that coach,
right? Or Usain Bolt down in Jamaica was largely overlooked as a sprinter. You
know, you gotta look deeper, you gotta look for the backstory. That’s what I tell
leaders all the time. How much do you know about your people? Have you asked
them for their origin story? Have you asked them where they come from? You’d
be amazed what you can learn just by asking someone to tell you their backstory,
and almost no leaders do it; that’s number one. Stop thin slicing, go deep and
learn about your people.

Number two, get out of your own way. We all have to do this. We have to get out
of our own way. Our ego, there’s such a component of narcism today it’s pathetic.
It’s really concerning. And even if you don’t mean to be narcissistic, your ego can
get in the way. We naturally are afraid of folks being better than we are, or our
legacy being diminished. But if we truly are dedicated to our organization, our
company, our brand, our mission, we need to want them to be better. You know,
it’s like my kids. I have three boys, they’re all three better than me right now. I
want them to be better than me. My oldest son, Cody, he’s gonna be a military
officer. He’s already better than me. He’s better than me, I want him to be better
than me. He trains with Wes in the pistol. He’s a better shot than me. I want that
for my son. Do you understand? Because I want my blood line and my legacy to
continue on down the road and the only true way for that to happen is if our
children, our employees, their talents are better than we are.

But we gotta buy into that as a mindset thing. It has to happen. And I see so
many leaders who they say they’re into talent management, but they’re not. They
hold back just enough so that that person’s not better than they are. And that’s
bull. That’s organizational suicide.

The third is let those talented people contribute to the vision. As a Rooftop
Leader, you have to have a crystal clear vision of a better world that doesn’t yet
exist. You have to have a crystal clear vision of a better world that doesn’t yet
exist and the ability to share it and get people to help you build it. But once you
do that, let them contribute to the vision. I’m doing some team building right now
with some very high end, talented players. One of the things that we are doing
and we’re gonna continue to do is to let them contribute to the vision of where the
organization is going.

When I was on a Special Forces team everybody contributed to the vision,
everybody on that A-team. We stood in a circle and everybody contributed,
everybody had a say. That is a skill to let the other talented people contribute to
the vision because guess what happens? They get ownership of it. It becomes
shared struggle, shared experience and reciprocity happens and now they will
run through walls for that vision. They own it and they will carry the football even
after you’re gone. What more could we possibly want?

Stop thin slicing, get out of your own way and let the talent contribute to the
vision. If you’ll do those three things, what you’ll start to see is that people,
relationships and stories start to emerge in your business. People, relationships
and story. We did this in Special Forces.

What works in life and death, also works with time and money. Invest in those three things and watch what happens with your talent. Get surrounded on purpose. Put emphasis on people,
relationships and story, and do those three steps: stop thin slicing, get out of your
own way, put your ego aside and let the talent contribute to the vision. Watch
what happens.

I’ll see you on the high ground.

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