Why Strong Leaders Attract the Best Talent

On Monday, September 25, a small company called Royalty Exchange (RE) announced a major breakthrough in the music industry: a new online royalty marketplace.

This new investment portal gives individuals the opportunity to cash in on the bull market in music—one that Goldman Sachs expects to grow into tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. The premise is simple enough—investors buy and sell music rights like shares on the stock market. As simple as it is, the idea is revolutionary. [Watch the CEO explain this opportunity on CNBC TV.]

I’ve been lucky enough to have a front-row seat to the development of this deal because my friend and business partner, Matt Smith, is the CEO of Royalty Exchange.

Too often, the term “investment” is thrown around as a way to talk only about money. But as Matt and his team found out at RE, far more human resource investment was involved in the company’s recent success.

And that brings us to the theme of today’s message: Investing in your team members is essential to you becoming more successful.

This leadership MO is exactly what allowed the small team at Royalty Exchange to upend the music industry. They did it through the recruitment and hiring of A+ team members, through the seamless teamwork of a largely millennial workforce, and through high-quality leadership from Matt and his business partner, Jeff Schneider.

Strong leadership means communicating clearly and consistently, setting reasonable expectations, listening to your employees, and having a positive attitude about finding the right people.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

The latter part of that quote is Matt’s leadership mantra. He’s one of the best business leaders I’ve ever met because he’s committed to the principle of servant leadership. This process bucks the trend of one individual accumulating power at the top of an organization, and instead, “puts the needs of others first and helps employees develop and perform as highly as possible.”

Having served as the CEO of companies in multiple industries—everything from a College Pro Painting franchise to the financial newsletter, Stansberry Research—Matt has recruited, interviewed, and hired thousands of employees.

While Matt has taught me much about finding the best prospects, here are my three main takeaways:

1. In order to find and hire the best team members, you must cast a wide net. Too many companies post a job opportunity on one site, get a few resumes, and pick from this small sample size. Then they wonder why the employee didn’t work out just a few months later. In reality, however, you’re looking for a prospect who has many diverse talents, and these individuals aren’t likely to be found in only ONE place.

2. Hire for more than money. While compensation is always a central part of the hiring process, there has never been a better time to land top talent, even if you can’t pay top dollar. Why? Because younger generations of workers are expanding their career priorities. It’s not just about the money anymore—it’s about how they can make an impact on the world. Does your company share candidates’ values and devote resources to community and worldwide causes? What do YOU stand for, and how can you as a leader encourage activism?

3. Your job search success starts and ends with strong leadership. There’s more to it than just sitting at a big disk and spouting empty vision statements. Strong leadership means communicating clearly and consistently, setting reasonable expectations, listening to your employees, and having a positive attitude about finding the right people. This isn’t just about dollars out the door—it’s about building your company’s future while giving others a chance to grow and succeed.


SUGGESTED READING: 7 Ways Businesses Can Improve Employee Retention


At the end of the day, every leader or CEO can admit to making a bad hire. And sure, that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but the past doesn’t determine the future. No one has a perfect hiring record, so learn from your mistakes and focus on a more positive future—a future committed to…

Finding the people who will serve your mission.

Finding people who want to grow.

Finding people who will help YOU grow.

Finding people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

How do you find this cast of prodigies? Get the word out. Interview more. Do a better job of explaining expectations and communicating your company’s opportunities to prospects. Let the community know what a strong and valuable leader you are.

Building a great team and being a great leader starts with you. Your team is YOUR personal responsibility.

So stop fearing the hiring process and realize this is the only way to grow your business, reach more people, and achieve the financial and personal freedom you desire. If you ever doubt the need for more support, remind yourself that you cannot do this all of yourself.

When you have the right people, though, you will move mountains.

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