I love the movie Moneyball.  If you haven’t seen it and you have your own business or you are a leader, I would recommend you watch it.  It is about a general manager of a Major League Baseball club called the Atlanta Braves and how they radically changed the approach to recruiting players from the traditional approach through scouts to more of an evidence-based approach through the use of technology.

This included analysing the statistics, history and averages of each player rather than what they looked like, on potential including what they could be, whether they have a degree or whether they know the right people.

Sounds familiar?  Isn’t this what we do when we recruit?  When we partner or work with others, do we worry about their sizzle (what they look like or title) or their substance (what can they actually do and what they have achieved?).

I can talk from personal experience with our journey with BRS over the last four years.   Recruiting people that had great titles from corporate life but could not cut it in a small business.   Strong promises on the ability to deliver but no work eventuating.   No ability to pitch in and make things happen as it is not part of their job description or why they signed on to work with us.  All examples of us recruiting people based on potential, veneer, and corporate titles and very little on track record, achievement and whether they could do the job we needed rather than over complicating it.

Take some time out and watch the movie.  There are some great lessons to be learnt for all of us.  I have captured some of my key ones below:

  • Results matter not talent;
  • Take an evidence-based approach to what people have achieved and don’t gloss over fluff and words that don’t actually translate in to results achieved;
  • Play the percentages – look at what someone has done rather than what they say or how they look;
  • If you challenge the conventional wisdom, you will always find better ways to do things than they are currently done;
  • Can they play their role in the team?  Will they do the one-percenters to be successful?
  • Don’t recruit by how someone looks.  Can they do the job?  Will they deliver?
  • No matter how successful you are, change is always good.  Are they open to change and can they adapt? and
  • The day you say you have to do something you are screwed.  Don’t be forced in to something.  Think differently around how you can achieve the same outcome in your own way.

I would welcome other insights from others that have seen the movie.  There is a lot to be said for focussing on your current and future people’s actual track record, achievements and ability to do the job.   It will save you a lot of time and heartache and help you deliver your moneyball.