While celebrity culture and aptitude tests promote a linear concept of talent, in which more is always better, we at Smart Savvy have come to see the limits of this linear notion and will show you, through this blog series, how we’ve turned it on its head — or, rather, toward the centre.
We’re demystifying the search for the best hire, giving you the tools to build your ideal team. We’ll identify each of the seven It Factors — the dynamic centre where two distinct-but-related characteristics are properly calibrated — that together separate the best from the rest. And we’ll help you see the fine lines that subtly distinguish each It Factor from harmful extremes.
Drawing from years of experience forming and strengthening teams through recruiting, developing, and coaching top-level talent, we’ll help you understand this key truth: being the best is less about boldness and more about balance.
Show us the future.
That’s often an underlying concern our clients bring to the hiring process. Show us what this candidate will have accomplished for us in five years. Show us where our company will be if we hire this person.
As recruiters, we are in the expertise business, so we’re wise enough to leave prophesy to the, well, prophets.
What we are experts at, though, is providing the questions that get below the surface — beyond the polished C.V., beyond past accomplishments. We get at the heart of the concern, which provides the lifeforce for actionable solutions.
So, let us help you reframe the concern:
Show us the candidate that will help us shape our future.
Ah, yes. Now that we can do.
Motivation matters most
The path to the future is paved through motivation.
When the motivations of job candidates are right, they look for opportunities and anticipate challenges, rather than wait passively for the world to come to them. When their motivation is right, they take the initiative to prepare, to learn, to improve. When their motivation is right, they constantly push back against the narrowing of their vision, against the pull of the past — they’re motivated to see the potential in themselves, their co-workers, and the world.
But what is “right” motivation?
Motivation is at its best when it’s properly balanced between Personal Goals and Collective Vision.
Personal Goals speak not just to inner drive, but to self-understanding.You want potential team members to both know and be able to articulate: What gets them up in the morning? Which of their strengths and weaknesses are most relevant to their most important tasks? How can they contribute out of their natural inclinations and passions?
Collective Vision recognizes our place in a community — the human family, certainly, but more specifically, the teams of which we are invited to be a part. Does your potential hire see her success as inextricably linked to her co-workers’ success and to the success of the team as a whole? Is he eager to contribute to greater goals, to the missions that are only accomplishable through collaboration?
It’s when these two manifestations come together — the “me” and the “we” — that motivation signals future success. Rather than being incompatible opposites, the two can strengthen each other in their interaction.
The "It Factor"
At Smart Savvy, we refer to this key balance of two distinct-but-related characteristics as the “It Factor,” a concept we’ll be exploring on this blog throughout the year.
The best qualities of the best hires are not always characterized by more — more ambition, more charisma, more individual achievements. This linear model has its uses but doesn’t account adequately for excess — for the fine lines that separate the helpful core from the harmful extremes.
Personal Goals left unchecked, for example, can barrel into Self-absorption.
Collective Vision unconsidered can slide into Passivity.
The allure of “more” obscures the fine lines.
The Sweet Spot
But when Personal Goals and Collective Vision push and pull at one another, when they inform and feed each other, they keep us in our sweet spot. They form a powerful centre from which Motivation can drive both an individual and a team toward a flourishing future. This is the It Factor. This is what separates the best from the rest.
As you consider the motivation of your team members — both present and future — what signs do you see of a vibrant dynamic between “me” and “we”? In what ways have you been allowing the “more” to distract you from the core?
It’s when you’ve found your balance — at the heart of motivation — that the initial concern can be safely flipped, and we can ask you:
What is the future that you want to create?
Do you have the team that will get you there?
Smart, Savvy + Associates are experts in helping marketing and communications leaders find people and develop teams that thrive and deliver inspiring results. As a people performance company, we specialize in finding marketing and communications talent in the Pacific North West. We also offer training programs for leaders and teams as well as options to become a certified coach or get coached.
Founder, Smart, Savvy +Associates