Rewind back 2 to 3 years when I worked at SEL. I had the opportunity to start my department fresh and hire new talent. Oddly, I didn’t care about skills. At first glance, my boss thought my decision making was a little off kilter, but over time, my methods proved to be correct.
Even though this is the first time I’ve read this book, the principle we learn today is one I knew from lessons learned in the Navy. The lesson is quite simple. People can be taught skills, but trying to change their personality to fit your team is dammed near impossible.
Motivation is greater than skills
Sinek presents a great story in this section of his book, I highly recommend reading it. The bottom line is that motivating people is an incredibly difficult task, so doesn’t it sound better to find motivated people already?
Come on, you know the type. You are at the company picnic and it is time for your department to play in the next game. There is that one person that seems a little too excited to be there and infectiously gets everyone else excited for the game. For whatever reason, that person is motivated with no obvious cause. That is the person you are looking for.
Real life application
I cannot take credit for the theory behind my crack-team at SEL, but I do take credit for the implementation. The application of this theory to real life is quite simple. Next time you are looking to add to your team, focus more on their personality than their skills. Sure, you want to make sure they have the basic skills for the job, but find out how they perform under adversity and stress. If you can find someone who is motivated under any circumstance, then you can teach them any skill to perform and they will bring their own motivation.
Are you reading along with me? I would love to know. Send me a message and we can discuss the chapters further as we go down this journey of discovery.
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