Leveraging the Talent around You

By John Tschohl

Team building is a delicate and time-consuming process. Anyone can put together a group of talented people, but it takes a dedicated team leader to bring everyone together effectively. One of the most important considerations you must make is whether or not an applicant fits into your bank’s culture. The right person will build upon what you’ve created, but the wrong person can bring it all down very quickly—and culture can take an awfully long time to rebuild.

Learn to conduct the orchestra.

In the following series of lines from Aaron Sorkin’s already famous screenplay, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak holds the following dialogue with Steve Jobs:

Wozniak: You can’t write code, you’re not an engineer, you’re not a designer, and you can’t put a hammer to a nail … So how come 10 times in a day, I read “Steve Jobs is a genius.” What do you do?

Jobs: I play the orchestra.

Jobs knew he could never have accomplished what he did alone. He needed engineers, marketers, designers…His skill was in bringing those people together and keeping them in harmony.

Similarly at Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ skill is bringing talented people together and focusing them on the vision for Amazon. They work in harmony. Each plays a part for the success of the team, for the success of the company. It’s called a service strategy. He allows employees to assist in creating new and innovative approaches that have a profound impact on the customer experience—that’s conducting the orchestra.

Be a magnet for talent.

As managers, team leaders, and engaged employees, it’s not enough to say that we need to get the right people in our organization. We must identify who the right people are and create a process that gets them on board and in the position to succeed.

Here’s a process that works for both large and small organizations:

  1. Identify who the right people are. Each organization and team will have different needs, so your “right” people may be different from other companies and teams.
  2. Identify several people in your organization who you wish you could clone. Write down their characteristics and traits and create your own benchmark of the right person for each position, thereby setting the expectations for all other team members.
  3. Identify the type of person that fits your company and team culture. For example, if you want to create a positive culture, make sure you hire positive people. If you want to create a culture that is creative then hire creative people.
  4. If you invest your time, resources and energy to get the right people on board you’ll have less headaches and expenses later on. Take your time during the hiring/recruiting process to make sure you are all on the same path.
  5. Remember, the people you surround yourself with will often determine the kind of organization you’re going to be.
  6. Continued training is essential. If you expect your team members to develop their skills and stay on top of changes, don’t get complacent about establishing and updating your training.

Professional athletes put in thousands of hours to sharpen their skills and prepare their bodies for the rigors of their sport. They are routinely able to overcome the pressure of high stakes moments because they allow their training to take over. When that happens they can play or perform without worrying about timing or their position. They are able to perform without thinking about what they have to do next. They work in harmony.

Ultimately, the success you enjoy will be because you have helped other people get what they want. Doing so will also help you recommit to the people and passions important in your life.

When you express your passion and enthusiasm, you will become a magnet to others who will be attracted to your high level of energy. You will become the conductor of the orchestra.

John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minn, and has just released the 10th Edition of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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