We need all employees to be eagles… but eagles flying in formation

We’ve all talked with people all over the world who say, “..hey, have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People?” Whether it’s this book or any number of others, the message is clear: People like to be motivated.

Radio networks are always looking for an edge. They want to hire people who are self-motivated, focused, energetic,….etc. etc. They want to put a team together that will bring desired results. That’s admirable. I even agree that it’s the most important ingredient to a successful radio station.

But I think many people miss the point.

Success happens by hiring the right people certainly. However, putting together successful teams also means hiring people who fill a role…. a “formation,” if you will. You see, I believe that it’s not so much the individual you hire, as much as it is how that individual fits into the formation.

I love the motivation and psychology of people.

We do need employees to be Eagles. Free-thinkers who can soar above the competition, think on their feet, and be looked up to, are qualities that are extremely important. However, just as important as our “Eagles” are, it’s more important to get your eagles to understand where they belong in the formation. Eagles who are unable to conform to that don’t get where they’re going.

Get enough eagles heading in different directions, and you’ve got no formation.

Certainly you wouldn’t have someone be the lead eagle if they were unable to stay focused on where they’re going. If you did, you’d have a bunch of eagles wondering where they’re going. The staff needs to see consistency in the lead eagle too. The lead eagle needs to clearly communicate with the rest of the eagles what the flight-plan is. If they don’t communicate that, then you’ve ultimately got dissention.

The world of radio is filled with successes and failures. What separates the two? After all, a station with the same cume can be a 4.5 share station. Suddenly a new PD comes in and takes it to a 7 share. What happened? What was the difference? What suddenly made the station better? Did the station have better listeners?

No. The difference was the lead eagle.

Some people are afraid to lead. Some thrive on it. Again, knowing which eagle is which, is crucial in the void between the two. If you hire the wrong eagle, you could be a 4.5 share. Hire a different one, and you’re a 7 share. Surprisingly, the 4.5 share eagle might be great if he/she were in a different position in the formation. Or maybe he/she needs to join another flock.

The trick is to make sure your lead eagle is just that. Monitor the progress. Check-up on his/her progress.

Are they hiring the right people? Are they keeping the formation lined up in its proper alignment?

The job of steering a radio station in the 2010’s isn’t going to be easy.

Every format out there is recomposing.

The lead eagle who can keep his vision and formation intact will be the winner.

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