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Breaking Through the World of Staffing

Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms profiles 12 staffing executives, providing an inside look at elite-level leadership.

Featuring a foreword by Dan Campbell, Hire Dynamics Chairman and Founder, Breaking Through: Leadership Disciplines from Top Performing Staffing Firms investigates what it takes to be a top-performer in a global industry of more than 19,408 staffing firms competing in the United States alone. At the peak of achievement, with $100 million in revenue, are only 140 staffing firms, who represent less than 1% of the industry.

Breaking Through is not only for staffing firm owners but provides lessons that anyone in staffing management can apply to their workforce. Dan believes many of the lessons within the text are applicable to other industries, especially business-services related fields, noting that he plans to require the entire HD leadership team to read the book, further improving a company already considered an award-winning place to work.

Co-written by industry experts Mike Cleland, founder of Charted Path, and Barry Asin, president of Staffing Industry Analysts, the book examines the strategies of companies who have grown from start-ups to leading the staffing industry at more than four times the average rate of growth.

Understanding the world of staffing is easy, but those who live in the staffing world know that it is a tough concept to execute. Though outside elements contribute, Mike and Barry believe that internal obstacles are the main reason that most staffing firms fail to expand. To evaluate your company and personal management based on the principles of the book, one must take the initiative to acquire multiple business disciplines.

The authors discuss the Five Leadership Disciplines in Breaking Through and dive into how executive leadership influences the strategic side of internal company culture and external growth. They identified five disciplines through their conversations with elite staffing leaders: Commitment, Direction, Culture, Talent Development, and Execution. The disciplines answer the fundamental questions of a business’s purpose and mission.

The disciplines answer the fundamental questions of a business’s purpose and mission. Mike and Barry write, “The more strategic Disciplines of Commitment and Direction answer the questions ‘Why do we exist?’ and ‘What problems do we solve?’ The Disciplines of Talent Development and Execution focus on the tactical question of ‘How do we solve those problems?’ The Discipline of Culture sits between them since it partially answers why, what and how. In addition, each discipline influences the others to some extent.”

When Dan first founded Hire Dynamics, he had the passion and work ethic for success but much less of a concrete sense of direction. Rather than constantly reinventing a company, he believes the fundamental key to staffing and leadership is being consistent and focusing your efforts.

It is easier to strive for continuous expansion from the start instead of trying to change direction midstream. If you have a growth mindset, your company will expand and flourish. If your mind is focused on other business priorities, your growth will fall behind and lead you to take riskier steps that could collapse your organization’s progress.

To be an effective leader, take the necessary time to network, create a board of advisors to keep you focused and be open-minded to external perspectives that challenge you. The prosperity of your organization depends on the advancement and development of you and your leaders. In closing, “For your company to grow, your leaders must grow also.”

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