Monday, March 21, 2016

How to Recruit

So you hear a lot about leadership, about the characteristics of being a leader.  

But a leader needs a team around him.  He must get great people to join his cause in order to accomplish his dream.  

How do you do that, you ask? I know, there isn’t a lot out there to show you how to actually GET your team.  I want to help you with the HOW on effectively recruiting great people to be a part of your team.  

First, let me tell you what DOES NOT WORK in recruiting people:

Sign ups
We think we can catch a lot of people by simply putting a sign up table and a sign up sheet near the entrance.  But sign up sheets and a person “manning the table” does not inspire people to enlist.  And even if a few do sign up, they often are not the RIGHT PEOPLE.

Making an announcement
People are not drawn by your information, they are compelled by your inspiration.  So, if you do ever get the privilege to share from a platform to many people, attach vision and enthusiasm to your appeal for people to serve.  Keep it short and to the point.  Focus 80% of your talk on the WHY and 20% on the WHAT and WHEN.  With this being said, I see even the greatest vision casters give a compelling, inspiring appeal for people to join their team from platform, but they still have very few, if any join.  They have videos and pictures and stories…they share with great conviction.  People laugh, and cry and are moved…but walk right out the door without enlisting to the vision!

The best leaders are not afraid to go up and personally recruit people to be on their team.  But even this can be ineffective and frustrating.  Why are they getting so many “NO’s?”  It reminds me of the funny commercial of the guy calling his friends to help him move to his new house, but his friends give him excuses:

“I’m all tied up"
“I’m buried in work"

People are not interested in doing more work - for you! 

Now, let me tell you what DOES WORK in recruiting people:

Think of recruiting people on your team as a 7 layer process.  Just like there are many layers to an onion, I am suggesting that there are several layers to effectively recruiting great people to your team.  I have identified 7 layers:

1. Introduce - before you even think about recruiting anybody, you must first start with the introduction.  Learn their name.  Let them know who you are.  Ask simple questions to find out who they are.  Don’t talk much about yourself and, for sure, don’t even think about recruiting them.  Don’t even share about you vision.  You show great value in people when you take time to know their name and their family.  Meet the person first.
2. Connect - in your second interaction (maybe the second week) ask more questions.  Again, it’s about the person, not about you.  Ask questions to find something that you have in common with them.  One rule of building a great team is to recruit people who are different than you - they think different, have different personality, have different skills and background. Connecting with someone who is different than you is a major challenge. The key is to keep asking questions about them until you find common ground.  Example: “where are you from? you grew up in West Virginia?? Wow! I love West Virginia!! I have been on vacation there with my family the past 4 years!!”  This is a great technique in connecting with people.   When you find a common ground with people, you have just opened a door to access to their life.

3. Build Relationship - as the days and weeks move on, find ways to build on the relationship you have started.  Show up to events that are important to them - a graduation, a funeral, a sporting event.  Another way to build the relationship is what I call POWER PLAY.  Find an opportunity to play together with them.  Basketball, checkers, cards, video games, etc.  For me, I love inviting people to play ping pong with me.  I create an atmosphere of competition.  People LOVE competition.  I use ping pong as my POWER PLAY to build great relationships.

4. Show the Need - I bet you can’t believe that you have to first do #1,#2, and #3 before doing #4!! If you have taken time to be intentional, now you can share your vision from the platform.  Your platform may be on a stage as a public speaker.  It may be Social Media.  It may be in a car with a group of people driving somewhere.  The key to sharing your vision is to first show the need.  Help them first see the problem, the conflict.  Great vision casters don’t tell people “we are going to build a childrens home”.  They first start with “my heart is burdened for our community where there are children who have parents that are addicted to drugs.  How are these kids going to grow up without healthy parents to teach them, love them, provide for them?” When you ask good questions, you activate people’s minds to contemplate the problem and be a part of the solution.  What you really want people saying to you is “you know, we need to do something to help these kids.”  Show the need … but don’t recruit just yet.

5. Affirm - somewhere through all of these steps, you need to affirm people.  Catch them doing good and call them out on it.  Brag on people.  Go up to them and call out their uniqueness and their gifts.  Be specific.  Don’t just compliment them, and don’t do it too much.  Pick the right moment and think of the right thing to say.  Leaders care more about the person than they do the task.  Speak in to their life. This fills their tank.  Call out the best in them and show them their potential for more.

6. Invite - now comes the recruiting part…although I prefer the term INVITE.  “Recruiting” feels like we are drafting people to go to war.  Invite feels like we are letting people come to our fun party.  BTW - make your vision feel like a party.   No one wants to work, everyone wants a party - fun.  Of course, a great vision takes great work.  
But you can create a culture of fun, party, relationship, competition.  You can make a landscaping job feel like a party.  You can make building a church in Haiti feel like a fun competition.  You can make preparing for an event be lots of fun.  So, invite the person personally to your vision.  Make the invitation specific.  Tell them what you need them to do, to own.  Tell them the time you want them to show up, how long it will take.  And make sure to tell them how much fun it will be and how awesome it will be to accomplish the vision!

7. Close the Deal - …and you thought it was done with the #6 Invite 😃 no sir.  Maybe it is my aggressive, forward personality, but I like to close the deal, right then and there.  Don’t just stop with the Invitation.  Set the challenge and ask for the answer.  “Can I count on you?” “are you ready to step in this week?”.  Don’t be discouraged if some are not ready just yet.  Some people need to process a decision more than others.  Many times, these people are the RIGHT PEOPLE.  They are more committed.  Others will respond positively right in the moment - they are great too.  The point is that you need to bring the challenge to them.  People need to be challenged…even if at first they are taken back.  Later on, they will really appreciate being called up to step up.  

Recruiting is tough work.  It takes skill, timing, and a huge investment of your energy.  Don’t think you can just make an announcement and ask people to stop by your information table on their way out to lunch and expect to build a great team of passionate, skilled people.

Think like a hunter, not a gardener.

Get after it - go seek out the people you want, that you need to make a great team! They are out there.  Work dilligently and patiently through the 7 layer process to build a connection with these people and you will have a winning team!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Power of Music

The Lord showed me how important music is for me, in particular.  While on a short vacation away from work and routine, I had a morning to do exactly what I wanted.  I was enjoying family, working outside (which relaxes me), reading, praying, resting.  I had some beautiful piano music and I was so calm and happy and peaceful.  

God showed me how music is one the best ways to get me to slow down and pay attention.  Because I am musical, my ear is in tune to every note, every rise and fall, every emotion and nuance that the music plays.  I listen for the timbre of the instrument, how the instrument is miced, what the size and features of the room are where the recording took place.  I can imagine the musician playing the instrument with every note and phrase performed.  I can actually imagine the TYPE of personality of the person playing the instrument.  Isn’t that weird? Don’t believe me??  I can.  I have studied music all of my life.  I love music.  

I have been studying different personality types recently.  I am intrigued with people, just like I am with music.  I love to study people.  What makes them do what they do? Feel what they feel? Believe what they believe?  

Of course, in my study of people, I have really studied my personality type: my design, my gifts, my faults, my tendencies.  

God showed me through study that I tend to be driven, anxious, busy, push hard.  I tend to move to the next project or thing.  I have to be more intentional to stop and pause and reflect - to live in the moment and enjoy life.The Lord showed me how important music is for me, in particular.  While on a short vacation away from work and routine, I had a morning to do exactly what I wanted.  I was enjoying family, working outside (which relaxes me), reading, praying, resting.  I had some beautiful piano music and I was so calm and happy and peaceful.  

You cannot tell music how to make you feel - you cannot dictate the journey it takes you on.  The music commands you, it stops you, it leads you, it challenges you.  You cannot speak back to music - it is speaking and you must listen. 

Another interesting antecdote that music has helped me with is my speech.  As a young man, my motor skills were not the best.  I had a mild stuttering problem.  It usually revealed itself when I was either tired, excited or anxious.  It was embarrassing.  I discovered that when I sang music that I did not stutter.  Music forced me to talk according to the rhythm that the music set for me.  It took all of the pressure and anxiety of talking.  In my teenage years, I did A LOT of singing!  I put “2 and 2 together” and realized that I could use the beat of music to say a phrase, it would come out much more clearly.  So, as I was with a group of friends and wanted to say something, I would first think through what I wanted to say, then would create a song in my head with that one phrase, practice it in my head.  Then, when I had an opportunity to speak, I would say the words just like the song in my head.  It REALLY helped me!

Do you struggle with anxiety? With fast pace? Can’t turn off your busy mind? On to the next thing?  Use beautiful music as your secret solution.  Sing along to it.  Hum to it.  Sit and listen to it.  Invest some of your $$ in some great music and find peace and clarity.  Let music slow your pace for a slower, happier life.