Many of my colleagues and I have had the fortune of being part of a magical team at one point or another in our careers. Unfortunately, most of us did not know it at the time. Only in looking back did we realize we were part of something special.
Every day we work with hiring managers who seek to attract talent that elevates the average team to a championship team. As we reflected on our own experiences, and those we’ve helped to create for our clients, we came up with a list of contributing factors or traits – in addition to that little bit of fairy dust that seems to surround greatness.
Creative DNA: No matter the role, they tend to push the boundaries in their thinking and ideas. They operate comfortably outside the box and constantly seek to innovate – whether product or service design, new business development, marketing, operations, etc.
Non-Traditional Path: Many have an usual path to greatness. They don’t take the obvious route or follow the traditional career progression. They tend to be driven by opportunity and vision. Need convincing, just take a look at the number of NFL players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that were undrafted free agents. Or look at Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg – all college dropouts who made a significant impact in the world.
Utility Player: Yes, they have an area of expertise, but most members of great teams are also able to play more than one position – in fact they thrive on it. They tend to think and operate as part of the larger team with a larger, focused purpose in mind.
Embrace Failure: Failing at something is a badge of honor – it is embraced as an opportunity to learn in order to move the next big idea along, rather than ashamed of, or beaten down by.
Highly collaborative: Members of magical teams tend to operate at very high levels of collaboration with everyone recognizing they all win or struggle together. They engage in a “Yes, and…” fashion that invites discussion and raises everyone to higher levels.
You won’t see all of this in a resume. You have to read between the lines, and recognize the signs in the person – something we are very good at!
What you can do is create an environment and culture where these traits thrive, and ensure sure your employment brand conveys that in order to attract magical talent to your company.