Today’s installment was submitted by T. Jeff McGraw of Callos Resource, LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jeff serves as the chair of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors, and has been a member of the network since 1994. Callos Resource, LLC provides a broad range of human resource services including recruiting & search, temporary staffing, and PEO services.
No, I am not referring to the title of the second studio album by the American rock supergroup, Mr. Big, released in 1991. Besides, were they ever that well known?
What I am thinking of is a scene in the 2012 movie People Like Us where Chris Pine’s character, Sam, is trying to help another character get through a particular rough spot by providing the six rules of life, with rule number five being “Lean into it.” Sam explains this rule as “the outcome doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are there for it. Whatever it is…good or bad.” Urban dictionary defines it this way; “To do it big, to do or say something to an extreme.”
This brought me back to when I began running. I learned that running, along with hard work and dedication, requires the runner to learn how to run uphill and downhill (believe it or not). Running downhill requires the runner to stand tall but running uphill, and battling gravity, the runner must run with a forward lean or in other words, lean into it.
Running uphill and running downhill can resemble our own business. There are good times (downhill running) and there are bad times (running uphill). When life is good and the recruiting gods are looking favorably upon us, we are running downhill. We are standing tall and the run seems easy. But the experienced recruiter knows that in good times we are not only standing tall, but we are also preparing for the lean times. When the placements are fewer and the fall-offs are greater we must learn to lean into it and do whatever it takes to get back to the top.
Sometimes doing what it takes is not natural. What is more natural for us is having a sense of fear, a feeling of uncomfortableness and a natural tendency to shy away. Leaning into it is to stay present, to be with the now, to experience, to learn, to grow and to be affected.
When I opened my first recruiting business in 1994 I only had three years of prior experience but with this experience I knew that my recruitment business could be stronger (in the good times) and more resilient (in the bad times) if I joined a split placement network. Why, some may ask, would any recruiter want to give away half of a placement fee? For me, it wasn’t giving away fifty percent of a fee; it was about receiving half of a fee that I may not have been able to generate but for the trusted trading partners in my split placement network. And, earning more revenue was only the half of it (pun intended)! This recruitment network brought me comrades in business that could help me to learn, to grow and to shed my feelings of fear. Yes, this network became my global network of independent recruiters who I not only claim as my trusted network of recruitment trading partners but I also claim as some of my best friends. Friends that can support me across the globe.
So for me, “leaning into it” meant joining up with like-minded recruiters that I could split placements with and share the uphills and the downhills of our business. Quoting the lyrics from the Little Big Town song – Lean Into It; “These days are filled with trouble, And the nights feel like they’re all getting longer, These days are dark and grey, Like that storm rolling in across the water, It’s a hard time, But I know I’ll get through it, Just gotta lean into it!”