In recruiting, we often ask candidates a powerful question that typically elicits reflection and authenticity in the answer. 

“At what point in your career did you feel most fulfilled? When did you feel you were truly in your prime or at your best?” 

Unfortunately, the common answer is a story of the past. Today we ask do we create a perpetual prime of life for ourselves and for those we lead? Let’s find out! 

It Starts with You

A commonly cited quote (original author contested) reminds us that “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Some of us take comfort in knowing that someone like celebrity chef Julia Child worked in advertising before releasing her first cookbook at age 50. Legendary comic creator Stan Lee did not create his first comic until he was 39. Colonel Sanders himself did not start franchising his company until the age of 62. They all succeeded later on in life but let’s focus more on the environment of previous success and pushing ourselves to stay in it, year in and year out, regardless of our age! 

What was your answer to my question about being in your prime? What were the circumstances that were in play at that time? 

These are the most common answers we hear from people: 

I had a team around me, and we were all rowing hard together to achieve a goal we all believed in

I was busy, maybe even overwhelmed, but overwhelmed meant I was doing meaningful work 

I was tasked with a challenge and given both autonomy and support to solve that problem 

I was surrounded by a team or a leader who pushed me to be more, learn more, take on more, and grow more 

You might identify with some or all of those experiences, but the question has to be…what changed that led to you NOT being in your prime? 

As leaders, we are in a position of power to re-create the very circumstances that once made us and our employees operate in a prime state. 

Consider instead: 

What is our collective vision, and what can be done to make it a more purposeful goal? 

What tasks should be outsourced to free up time for the most fulfilling and efficient activities for you and your team? 

What can you do to create an ongoing learning environment with new challenges to overcome? 

  How do you surround yourself with the best people?

Studies show that every day we operate mostly on auto-pilot, so it’s normal to find yourself forgetting to cultivate a prime environment.  We know what is expected of us each day and then we mindlessly perform to that expectation. It is not easy or comfortable to take the time to answer the questions posed in this article, but they are necessary! Today, you must seek to understand the true aspirations, motivations, and desires of yourself and your employees. It’s difficult to uproot unproductive teams and change the status quo, but if you want to create a prime environment where everyone can be their best, then change is required. 

The Best Boss Ever

Who was the best boss you ever had? Common responses might be,  “They could articulate where we were going and how we would get there” or “Their impact was felt daily as they worked tirelessly towards our goal” or “They put me in a position to succeed, and I felt a strong belief in my abilities and potential.” 

Answer the question yourself. That individual took responsibility for inspiring you, for making you feel heard, and for believing in you at times more than you believed in yourself. As leaders, we owe it to those who have put their careers in our hands, and the formula exists of what to do. Your best boss did it for you, so now it’s your turn! Google is a perfect example of this. Google’s analytics team starts by researching the qualities that make managers great at Google, then they built a training program that teaches those exact qualities. Once the program has been completed, Google measures the behaviors of the leaders to ensure that they’re making improvements and morphing into managers that Google employees want to work for. It’s the perfect formula! 

Today, start with becoming the boss you most admired in your own career and recreate the circumstances that used to make you feel like you were in your zone. When you lead, others will follow. Become someone’s “Best Boss Ever” today! 

About Our Company:
With over 90 years of Logistics experience, Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain. Let us put our team to work for you! To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
Top Talent
President and CEO