The London 2012 Olympic Games is only 44 days away. It will be a massive international event watched by people all around the globe ready to see their heroes compete for the ultimate prize… the Olympic Gold Medal. The Olympics will involve over 11 000 athletes from over 200 nations, but there are only 300 gold medals on offer.

For many the honour of representing their country at the Olympics is a massive reward in itself and payoff for years of training during which they have honed their technique and tactics whilst also prepared their body and mind for their big day. To cross the finish line or complete their event may be enough to satisfy many and something they can be proud of and remember forever.

However for other athletes there is only one prize that will really satisfy them. Gold! Second won’t be good enough, no, silver simply won’t do and a bronze certainly won’t satisfy. To these athletes success means winning. We all love to win. Elite athletes as with top musicians, top business people, top chefs (in fact in nearly any field of endeavour) go the extra mile, master their craft and push themselves to limits where others are not prepared to go.

They innovate and they raise the bar… literally in the case of Dick Fosbury who invented the Fosbury Flop and won a gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics, removing the Straddle Technique and the Scissors Jump as the preferred technique for the high jump. And according to Bryan Adams in the following “Summer of 69” he played his guitar “until his fingers bled” clearly demonstrating he was practicing harder than most and that is how he became a great musician. Sorry bad joke but I couldn’t resist.

So how do people win at work? I work in the recruitment industry, one of the most competitive industries in the workplace and one with no barriers to entry. Just as nearly anyone can compete in a 100 sprint race, nearly anyone can be a Recruitment Consultant. But not many of us who ran the 100 metres race at school will be lining up at the starting line in London. And likewise not all Recruiters perform at an elite level. So what separates the top performers in recruitment from others? I have been fortunate to work with and network with some amazing Recruiters and several who are in the elite billing category.

The traits I see that are shared among these people include a high level of competitiveness and a determination to succeed. When you set them high goals they exceed them every time and they set themselves even higher goals. They make more phone calls, interview more candidates, meet with more clients and have more business conversations than the rest. They read the newspapers, learn about their clients and their markets, they research and they prepare for every meeting… because every meeting has a goal. They understand that word of mouth is a powerful tool and if they service their candidates and clients exceptionally well in a personalised way, they will get referrals (the Holy Grail of recruitment removing any need for the dreaded cold calling). They are smart, commercially savvy and they don’t give up easily if at all. And when things get tough they stick their head down and get on with the job. They never look for excuses and they don’t lay blame. They understand that things will turn in their favour if they do the fundamentals of the job day in day out and are disciplined.

Recruitment does not have an Olympic Games every four years. We compete every day and the best thing about that is that we can have a win every day. And the top performers do! They win a client, they win a job order, they win a candidate referral, they win a fee negotiation, they place a candidate in their dream job and they generate fees. Winning comes in many forms in recruitment as it does in all jobs. How can you win a gold medal in your job?

Ben Walsh – General Manager – Qld

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