Last year was a tough year and the signs say 2022 won’t be any easier. Paper is in short supply, causing an increase in prices and delays in shipments. As a leader, there probably isn’t much you can do about that, which leaves people as this year’s single most important priority for you. As a leader, inspiring and motivating your team becomes JOB #1.

I suggested last year that “managing” is becoming a taboo word when we talk about people— better to think “we manage things, we lead people.” It’s much easier today for everyone, regardless of age or education, to go online and do a search on what it takes to get and keep the right job. Since we want candidates to work for our company, we must create a culture where our employees want their children and friends to come learn and grow with us when there are opportunities.

Going online to check out leadership can be intimidating. A Google search returns over 4.4 billion results. Up from 2.7 billion last April!  While all of us at Connecting for Results (CFR) don’t have tips to help you find paper, though I wish we did, here are some suggestions for finding the best people and building a great company culture:

People first

We all know how important it is to find the right people, but what should a hiring manager focus on? From my experience, attitude is everything. You can educate people to do things, but you can’t teach attitude. In a rapidly changing world, there will always be new skills to learn, but hire the people who are willing to learn new things. I’ve always believed the best crew is made up of people with different skill sets to create a solid team.

Keep it simple

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

The current climate can be overwhelming and beyond challenging. Keep your conversations and written communications straightforward and to the point. Always think transparency. More now than ever, this isn’t a time to complicate things; keep your written and spoken messages short, sweet, and upbeat. Recently, one company even delegated a senior leader to be their Inspiration Manager! Once you have good people, you must give them a reason to stay and grow with your company.

Lead with a little humour and a lot of humility

People who dream big, get things done, and know how to have fun are the people many most enjoy working with. They have an aura and energy about them that is infectious; the kind of infection we do want to share and spread. They also recognize that modesty is appreciated by others. If you must play the boss card now and then, find a way to play it with wit and understanding.

Like I said earlier, there are many sides to leadership and at CFR, we’re committed to sharing what we know about it and the other facets of organizational excellence.

By Gary Forget