What do top performers have in common?

Why it’s time for a rethink - Tara LescottThis is a question I get asked all the time from consultants, managers and business owners. Everyone wants to know the big secret behind performance, and in a month where so many other people’s performance are being celebrated at the Recruiter Awards, it seems like a good time to talk about it.

Everyone wants success, but – and it’s a big but – many fail to get there. Everyone wants the result but few are willing to pay the price to get it… Which is why so many are prepared to pay for the shortcut. The bad news is there is no tool or system or product that will suddenly make you successful. The good news is that you already have what you need to change things if you or your team are not getting the results you feel capable of. Let me explain…

I have worked with thousands of recruiters over my 20-year career. I have interviewed hundreds of top performers at all levels and stages of their life in recruitment, and the one quality they have in common is their ability to stay totally fixed on their goals while remaining flexible in their methods. And unfortunately most of the under-performers have this in reverse – doing the same things over and over again (fixed) and over time expecting less and less in terms of results (flexible).

Top performers start out with a solid goal in mind, which is firmly attached to a vision of how they will feel when they achieve it. Feeling good about the result they want to achieve keeps them focused on the outcome they seek. And because that commitment is total to that bright and shiny goal – they remain flexible in their methods of achieving it. The vision for what they want is so compelling they don’t give up on it. That client who is saying no? Onto the next one. Candidate didn’t want to move forward? Ok, find another one. They keep moving forward.

You have this ability – you probably just haven’t learned to control it yet. Think about a time you really wanted something you didn’t think you could get or achieve… but you did. I bet it started with being a little obsessive over it, daydreaming about when you finally achieved it.

Because you invested so much time thinking about how you would feel when you got there, you unknowingly tapped into a very resourceful state. And because you were in such a resourceful state you programmed yourself to keep seeking opportunities and solutions that would take you closer to your goal.

If you are under-performing (in your eyes), then you need to do the same. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is my ultimate goal?
  2. How does achieving that goal make me feel? What will that look like for me?
  3. How do the tasks before me lead to my goal?
  4. If this immediate task does not get me the outcome I seek, what will I do next?

The major problem we all have when we find ourselves in a dry patch performance-wise is that we haven’t got fired up about how we will feel when we achieve them. And as we aren’t attaching our immediate tasks to that goal we don’t have the necessary drive to make it happen.

So let’s get fixed – actually, no, let’s get obsessed – with our goals and stay totally flexible on our methods. That desk, team, business you know you are capable of leading is waiting for you to take control and be the Top Performer you know you can be.

To your success!

Tara Lescott is managing director of rec-to-rec firm Recruiter Republic

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