15th June 2017

Locus of Control

I was recently at a dinner with a bunch of business people, and when they were asked what their biggest challenge was, right now, the most common answer, by far, was people; finding, hiring and retaining the right people so that their businesses might grow as they want them to grow.

Without a doubt the number one factor in growing a successful business, or in growing a business successfully is having the right people. Jim Collins advocates people first and demands that we get the right people on the bus. All other considerations stem from having the right people. Business leaders who can’t manage people will always have a tough time.

The thing that caused me to think, however, is that, no matter what the economic landscape, the people question has solutions, and those solutions can be learned. The perennial cry of ‘There is a shortage of good people out there’ strikes me as being nothing more than a universal and timeless truth. There has always been a shortage of good people out there. There always will be. There will only ever be one number one, at any time.

The problem isn’t that there are no right people out there, the problem is that you are failing to attract the best people. The best person is out there, just not working for you….yet. So what are you going to do about it?

Have you thought what the very best people want and have you set your organisation up to give the very best people the environment that he or she wants? If you were a professional footballer for example, would you be most attracted to Manchester United or Hartlepool united? The answer is obvious so, which club most closely represents your firm?

If you are really serious about getting great quality people; attracting, retaining and growing them, isn’t it time you got serious about it?

However unattractive your firm is to great people you can do something about that. However unattractive you are to work for, you can do something about that. Do you read about people? Books on psychology, NLP, emotional intelligence and neuroscience for example, or are you still operating on outdated and ineffective models of human behaviour and motivation, passed down from people who didn’t know to people who don’t understand?

If the very best people want challenge, does your firm give them that? If they want growth, does your firm give them that? If they want autonomy, mastery, ambition, excellence, fun, is your firm the clear and undisputed destination? Obviously not if you are one of those bemoaning the fact that there aren’t enough good people out there.

All of these things are in your locus of control. The question is, are you prepared to learn what needs to be done, are you prepared to do what needs to be done to position yourself as the destination of choice for all of the great potential that exists out there? Or are you happy to moan that there aren’t any good people out there?