I was recently consulting an agent who has been in the process of (once again) trying to hire the perfect assistant for his business. The agent is someone for whom I have the utmost respect. He is fearless. He has a great work ethic. He lead generates relentlessly. And he is successful, though not to the degree he wants to be.
Like most agents who have struggled with nailing this hire and the leadership of it, my friend was caught up in over analyzation. He was knee deep in data and charts and graphs and assessments and scripts. So much so that he was painting himself into a corner of “paralysis by analysis.” When I asked him to tell me what he wanted this person to be and/or do for him, he went into a very technical recitation of a very tedious job description. To be honest, I was intimidated, and at the same time, bored, at his answer….and I KNOW this stuff!
Hiring is tricky, for sure. We can undersell, oversell, listen too little, talk too much, over analyze, over complicate, take too long, be too impulsive, rely too much on our intuition, rely too much on the information, question everything, ask too few questions…the list goes on and on and on. Before you know it, YOUR head is spinning, you are confused not only about what you want in a person, but also what you want them to do.
After listening to my friend, I asked, “Have you ever seen Batman?”
“Of course,” he replied.
“What do you like about Batman?”
“He’s a total Bad@ss!”
“What makes him such a bad@ss?” I asked.
“He’s fearless. He goes out and fights for good…and wins.” He said.
“That’s true, but I think his secret weapon is Alfred, don’t you?”
“Think about it,” I said. Before Batman leaves the bat cave (emotionally charged) to conquer the world, Alfred says, “Don’t forget your cape…or this umbrella with a knife in it…or about these new guns I just put in your car. These things might come in handy.”
I went on. “…That’s exactly what you want in an assistant. Alfred. Someone who cares about you enough not to get caught up in all your excitement. Someone who wants to make sure you have EVERYTHING you need to leave the office and win. Someone who works behind the scenes to make your world better so that you can perform better. Someone who never gets rattled by the chaos and who has proven themselves enough to you that anytime you hear their voice you stop and you listen because…they…are…Alfred. And no one has your back more than Alfred.”
Find yourself an Alfred. If you do, it’ll be your name in lights in the sky, not the Bat signal.
And if you are an Alfred who’s reading this. This is what an aspiring “Bad@ss” wants in an assistant. Make sure your work history looks like an Alfred. The more obvious your Alfredness is in your history, the easier it will be to spot…and hire you.
Batman could never do Alfred’s job. Alfred could never do Batman’s job. And neither Batman or Alfred could do their jobs as well as they do without the other. They each bring out the best in the other.
No one succeeds alone. Not even Batman.
Good luck with your quest to create superhero leverage in your business! May you live to fight another day.