In a Q & A session following a keynote address I recently delivered, a participant lamented the declining quality of applicants for employment over the past 30 years. So many do not graduate high school, he said, and many do not have habits of responsibility and even common courtesy (sometimes it’s not that common). What were my comments, he asked?
In all the decades of my business life I do not remember a time when people did not say that finding qualified or “good” people was a challenge, often their biggest challenge. So, the questioner’s observation, while particularly vexing for him now, appears to be a business constant. The real question is what you can do about that.
You cannot change the entire population or a generation, nor can you alter who shows up at your door seeking employment. What you can do is to be the best leader you can be. Adhere to the principles of great leadership, like letting people know in your words and actions that you care about them so they want to give their all, their A-Game. Insist on their best. Give them the tools and the authority to succeed. Give them clarity of direction.
You know this stuff. It makes us all better, so go do it!
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