Great leaders are attractive. No, not attractive as in eye candy! Attractive as in magnetic. Magnetic leaders create attractive organizations that people are drawn to and want to be a part of.
Have you ever walked into a room and been drawn to someone? In the magnetic way, not romantic. Focus! Like during a meeting when someone’s presence is just impressive. You know nothing about them, yet there something special. They are magnetic and you just cannot put your finger on why.
What makes them that way? They just have something in them that you want to follow. Attractive organizations are the same way.
High performing organizations retain quality internal team members and attract quality external candidates. Last week, we spent time advocating for the Great Retention Movement, focusing on how to stop the bleeding during the Great Resignation and retain our people. This week, we look at our need to become an attractive organization for those who are not currently part of it.
Let’s explore five ways the leader can create an attractive organization:
Know the Latest Fashions
I used to wear pleated pants. Finally, after finding fewer selections each time I went to the stores, I had to come to grips with the fact that they were no longer in fashion. Flat fronts are in. If you want to be attractive, it helps to know the latest fashion trends. If you are rocking clothes from a trend or two that has passed you by, you may not appear as attractive to others.
As we create attractive organizations, we need to be in tune with the latest trends. This doesn’t mean that we need to just change with the direction of the wind. We all have uncompromising principals. However, it is good to evaluate what others are doing. Those organizations on the forefront, the finge. What are bits and pieces of their attire that you can apply to your organization?
We must adapt as leaders and organizations. General Eric Shinseki once said, “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.” Irrelevance is never in fashion! You can still wear the same color slacks, but you might just have to give up pleats! Sharp dressed organizations are attractive.
Get in Shape
There is probably more “judgement at first sight,” than “love at first sight” in the relationship world. The reality is people see outwardly, before they see inwardly. If we are not in our best physical condition, our clothes are tattered, and our shoes worn, we probably don’t make the best first impression. We are not putting ourselves in a position to be attractive at first sight.
Organizations are the same way. If someone outside your organization only sees negative newspaper headlines, hears from disgruntle employees, or sees that your services are sloppy, you are not outwardly attractive. They will look you up and down and move right along!
As leaders, we have a responsibility to make sure our organization is in great shape. Stole this from my friend Mike Linch, “you never drift into good shape.” The reality is you need to exercise, eat healthier, get regular checkups, and etc. to become healthy. Sitting on the couch, watching television does not get you there. We should always seek to improve the condition of our organization to become outwardly attractive.
Beauty Lies Within
Now we have made it past the superficial appearance. We took the time to get to know the person and who they really are. That is when the person really becomes attractive! A sustainable attraction.
I am a big believer in networking. Whether it is through professional organizations, leadership groups, Chamber of Commerces, business associations, civic organizations, and etc. These connections lead to relationships. Relationship building allows people to get to know you and who you really are.
These relationships can create ambassadors that carry a strong recruitment message for your organization and can generate external interest amongst that network. They know the inner beauty of your organization and are attracted to it.
Shannon and I were lying in bed one evening having a mild disagreement over something that she was wrong on (later part added after her proofreading)! I had recently taken my DISC assessment, a behavior profile tool. I had been encouraging her to take it as well. That evening I highly encouraged her to take it right then and there. So, she pulled out her laptop and took it. We swapped our results and read though the profile. After reading mine she said, “oh my gosh, this is you!” We are clear opposites.
Early in my leadership journey, I sought people to lead that were like me. People that thought like me, made decisions like me, and behaved like me. It was safe that way.
Through maturity and the leadership grind, I now seek to put people around me that are different than me, that complement me. Organizations that are attractive are diverse. People of different thought processes, beliefs, upbringings, behavior profiles, you name it. Opposites attract.
Attraction Creates Compression
Here is the good part about becoming an attractive team, everyone wants to play for you. Here is the bad part about building an attractive team, everyone wants to play for you. While in our heart of hearts, we always want to promote from within. The problem comes when the players on the roster may not be ready for the call up and it is not in the best interest of the team.
Compression in an organization is when internal candidate desire meets external candidate interest. Here is what we must remember, it comes with the territory of leadership and the process of building an attractive team. If you are generating strong interest from internal and external candidates, you are attractive.
Here is the deal. If your organization knows the latest fashions and is in good shape, you are attractive. If you build a quality culture with a great reputation, people will see the inner beauty. Inner beauty creates a deep, sustainable attraction.
Why? Because you have built an attractive organization. One in which people are drawn to. They may not always be able to put their finger on it, but they are just drawn to it. It is something they want to be a part of.
The leadership equation is simple though. Great leaders are attractive, and they develop organizations that are equally attractive. Grow in your leadership and you will become magnetic!