Putting a Team Together

How to fill staff positions with the right people

Not everyone in the stands at a sports event is a fan. Some are recruiters, scouting out the plays and personnel of the team on the field—and sometimes on the bench. Often you can spot them. They won’t be holding popcorn, hot dogs, or D-FENCE signs. They might be holding a clipboard, tablet, or smartphone. Their task is to recognize athletic skill and match it with a position on the team they represent.

In one sense every leader is a recruiter. Your job is to find skilled people and match them with a position on your team. There are parallels between recruiting athletes and recruiting staff. The task is to identify several things:

Ability »  

Recruiters not only look at players, they check the stats. Batting averages, points scored, or yards gained are not useless facts. They reflect the passion and skill of the recruit. Leaders look for a good track record.

Compatibility »

Most athletes compete alongside others. Recruiters want to know how the recruit will fit in with the team. What personality characteristics would be an advantage—or disadvantage? Leaders watch to see how their recruits interact with others.

Responsibility »

Winning athletes are self-motivated. They are driven to excel no matter how fellow team members perform. Leader, your recruit may have ability and capability, but may lack responsibility. It can’t be factored out.

Accountability »

Athletes who stand out are those who listen up. They are comfortable with coaching. They are interested in the evaluations of managers or coaches. Leaders look for recruits who have a record of listening and learning? Good “following” can make the difference between fame and failure.

They are out there: workers who want to work, followers who want to be led, and learners who want to be fed. It’s your job to . . . 

Spot them,

Recruit them,

Train them,

Assign them,

Evaluate them,

Praise them.


You are loved,