A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way – John Maxwell
The American Staffing Association points out that while staffing industry growth has outpaced overall economic and employment growth, it employs only 2% of the U.S. nonfarm workforce. As you can expect, that makes the staffing industry quite competitive, leaving the smartest, most innovative companies with top tier leadership and a motivated work force to be left enjoying the most success.
At Latitude 36 we take pride in the collaborative efforts that each of our teams make in order to successfully deliver a streamlined and tailored experience for our clients and consultants. A common theme among our team leaders is the idea that you have to take an adaptive approach to each individual. The ability to break down specific needs and tendencies by tailoring a hands on approach to each individual allows for the truly great leaders to connect one on one in order to provide that individual the best opportunity to succeed.
At Latitude 36, we define success as “the growth of our employees, reputation, revenue, and profits.” Similar to any other company you could say, but we feel the difference is in our leadership. With the foresight to envision and establish a different approach to the recruiting process, Lat 36 has championed the idea of Predictive Staffing, for example. With dedicated teams catering to each client, we are strategically positioned to streamline the recruiting process to bring clients the most qualified candidates and lead consultants to the most sought after clients! So how does this tie into leadership? From the top down, you can guarantee that you are getting the highest quality experience by the best in the business.
Our Recruiting Director, Central/East Operations, Scott Dickson, notes that leaders in the staffing industry must be tech savvy with a keen ability to obtain and evaluate details, and have the decisiveness to execute. In an industry that is seeing a shift from baby boomers to millennials it is vital to be one step ahead in tracking industry trends and technologies that can position Latitude 36 ahead of the competition. Inside our own organization, and with regard to our consultants, it’s about matching the right people with the right skills to maximize productivity and results. In today’s competitive marketplace, the leaders who stand out are the ones who evolve quickly with the trends.
Consistency, communication, and ownership are 3 qualities that National Director of Sales, Keegan Banks, strives to exemplify in herself, to her team, and throughout the organization. An understanding that not everyone works the same way, and the recognition to provide honest feedback to constructively get the best out of herself and those around her, are qualities that allow her to be a successful leader and mentor throughout our company.
As routine an idea as this may be, it drives home the fact that consistency in an approach designed to give immediate feedback shows her dedication to her team and an honest approach to disseminating problems or giving praise where it is due. Top notch leaders confront in a way as to provide teachable moments that show how to be firm, how to be fair, and that you have accountability measures in place that you are not afraid to enforce.
The foresight to provide learning opportunities for employees and care about the general well-being and career prospects for team members/ employees in a way as to help them progress, provide continued value, and grow personally and professionally are qualities that set successful leaders apart from others.
Hands on leadership and exemplifying a positive energy have been keys to Shannon North’s success and leadership style as our Director of Accounting Operations. Communication, delegation, and intuition, she posits, are key in cultivating influence, which in turn builds a culture of respect. Always looking for ways to improve daily tasks to make employees more efficient and providing learning opportunities by making classes available are avenues that reflect a sense of caring and genuine interest in each employee, and thus garnering a certain level of empathy towards our employee’s sense of purpose in the organization. This is what defines a true leader. The art of personal connection that can really tap into an individual’s psyche by first understanding, then relating, and finally acting on that trust to provide a real growth opportunity through a teaching moment is what successful leadership is all about.
Communication then, plays a key role in successful leadership. Keeping everyone on the same page requires a great deal of communication among our team leaders. You can have all the right strategies to propel your organization forward, but if you lack good communication skills, they will remain as ideas!
Communication spills over into a number of different elements relating to successful leadership, with a culture of respect being one of the most important. Idea generation and sharing are fostered in an environment in which employees feel a certain comfort level and trust in a leader. Marketing and Staffing Services Manager, Lindsey Maxcy has made it a priority to establish an open line of communication early on so as to provide a family-like culture. Providing an environment that gives teams the ability and opportunity to share great ideas without hesitation or feeling intimidated fosters a great deal of respect on both sides of the coin. She notes, “You can’t worry about your ego or how you will look to your team if you had a bad idea – you have to be willing to admit your mistakes, explain why it didn’t work, ask for help, and start from scratch!”
Sure, leaders can be built and conditioned to step into a leadership role, but a successful leader tends to carry a natural ability to lead. They have a demeanor that demands respect in an open and constructive way, so as to exuberate a positive energy and be a true asset to his/her team/company. A leader is a role. A successful leader is an example; a role model; a mentor; a figure that people look up to and respect. Much more than a role, a successful leader lives, breathes and fosters a culture that employees want to be a part of and grow with. A company is defined by its leadership, and its legacy is ultimately determined by the success of its leadership.