What is your Vocare with John Coffin

The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means to call or summon. For this month’s huddle, we spent some time with John Coffin about his calling and how we can work together to embrace ours.  

 For most people, their career journey looks like climbing a mountain. It’s a steady and consistent rise upward to larger companies and more prestigious roles. That’s the process that John Coffin took throughout his career as he climbed the corporate ladder in the banking world. While the names on his business card may have changed – Chemical Bank to Chase, Wachovia to Wells Fargo – his roles were similar, serving larger institutional clients as they increased market share. Moving to Atlanta in the early 2000’s led to a shift in focus, as he transitioned into the commercial banking side, where he served smaller businesses and saw the passion of these entrepreneur business leaders who poured their heart and soul into their nascent businesses.  

 In 2006, he decided to take a leap of faith by leaving his job at Wells Fargo and making a big bet on these types of companies when he and a few others walked away from their jobs and started Atlantic Capital Bank, which would focus on these smaller-medium sized businesses in the Atlanta area. Atlantic Capital was the largest startup bank in US history, with an initial capital raise of $125 million. Opening its doors in May of 2007, John focused on recruiting a 40 person team to implement the vision. When starting a bank from scratch, he wanted to find people who were drawn to the entrepreneurial spirit of those they served. Drawing people from across the career spectrum, it was important to find people who were bought into the vision of the new venture.  

 Over the next decade, Atlantic Capital grew to a $2.9 billion bank. Through mergers and acquisitions, it shifted from a private company to one that was publicly traded on NASDAQ. This shift came at an inflection point for John and gave him the inspiration for his next chapter, serving business owners and entrepreneurs in a different way along their growth journey.  

 Today, John is the co-founder and President of Practical Growth Advisors, which provides strategic advisory and forecasting services to 85+ privately held companies to enable them to grow faster with confidence. Typically, companies under $250 million don’t have a broad executive team, so John and his team come in and help entrepreneurs crystalize their vision and they put in place the processes needed to grow with intention in a smart and sustainable way. 

 John shared with us some of the lessons learned on his journey. He started by asking us to identify three people we admire and what attributes we admire most of each. For John it was: 

  • Teddy Roosevelt: action-oriented, asked questions and then proposed the “what if”, big thinker 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr: courageous, excellent communicator, challenges people 
  • His mother: kind, curious and stubborn (this is a positive) 

We then ranked our top three attributes from that list, which John identified as bias toward action, desire to go big and being a challenger. These attributes are ones that have served John as he has progressed throughout his career, and he tries to emulate them and instill them in others.  

According to John, great ideas, great teams and great execution are critical to successful growth. He shared how many great teams are like the spirograph we played with as kids. The spirograph drew perfectly geometric, yet elaborate shapes with the help of gears as guides. As you change pen colors, the shapes developed more detail and depth. While all of the pens operated independently, they were joined by the surrounding gears and together created a beautiful image.  

 We appreciate the time John spent with us as we work to discover and develop our vocare and help great businesses grow.

Deep Relationships Lead to a Healthy Culture and Healthy Business

You probably wouldn’t know it driving down the Connector on a busy weekday morning, but Atlanta is known as the “City in a Forest.” This is because Atlanta is actually one of the least dense large cities in America, which leaves more room for the trees that provide character to our city. In fact, more than 40% of our city is covered by some sort of tree canopy. Now, you didn’t come to our little search firm to learn about horticulture, but we figured it would be a good segway into our guest for this month’s huddle, Jon Vaughan.

Much like his hometown of Atlanta, Jon and his family have been defined by trees. Jon’s grandfather, Cy Vaughan, and his business partner, R.L. Brand, started Brand Vaughan Lumber Company in 1946. They operated their business around certain core beliefs – honor God, maintain humility, live by the Golden Rule, focus on being the best rather than the biggest, and treat all people with whom we interact with respect. 

Years later, Jon’s father, Chip, took over the business and Jon joined him in 2006. Over the next two years, the economy collapsed and the dip in the housing market nearly drove the family’s business into bankruptcy, with their revenues dropping by more than 72 percent in that period. It was during those tough days that Brand Vaughan nearly fell victim to what happens to many family-owned businesses. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Some 70% of family-owned businesses fail or are sold before the second generation gets a chance to take over. Just 10% remain active, privately held companies for the third generation to lead.” Jon and his father were determined that would not be the case with their family.

By 2015, when Jon took over for his father as President, the business was healthy and growing again, but the lumber market had changed dramatically, causing many businesses like theirs to fail. From 2006 – 2009 the number of lumber yards in Atlanta went from 120 to 18, but Brand Vaughan remained strong, eventually growing to a $200+ million company by 2022.

So how did Jon and his family achieve this despite headwinds all around? As the leader of the business, Jon was intensely focused on building a healthy culture within the organization.

“Culture is harder to measure than smarts and takes longer to measure,” he said. “The healthy side of business is harder, but it lasts longer when you get it right!”. In order to get the culture right, he had to learn to listen differently than before. He believes that good leaders show people that they are listening through their actions. He had to build a strategy to meet and actively listen to people across all parts of the organization, which he called Java with Jon. This process took more than a year and was led by asking people to answer simple questions like “I like, I wish, I wonder…”.  At the end of that year, he reported back to the company what he learned, leading to increased buy-in to the mission across the organization.

The other byproduct of the leader as the listener is that it modeled for people across the organization how they should care for their customers. This starts with preparation. He ingrained this through the five P’s – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. People will recognize when you’re prepared and appreciate your preparation.  Always be more prepared for your audience than they are for you. That preparation frees you to truly listen to what the customer really values, and you can then help them meet their needs. Jon used the example of a customer’s 50th birthday party that coincided with a big industry conference.  One person gave the guy a nice bottle of champagne that probably cost a lot of money, but the recipient had been sober for 15 years, so he wouldn’t enjoy it. Jon and a group gave the customer a custom art piece of his family made out of records.  It cost them more – but it made impact and is something his friend will keep forever.  This is what drives deep and lasting relationships with customers.

Which leads us back to the forest. Did you know that trees actually talk to each other? Well, it’s true. Research has shown that trees communicate to others around them, creating a symbiotic relationship and a healthy forest. It doesn’t happen up in the tall limbs or the colorful leaves, but down deep in the roots, where they send signals back and forth, enabling them to share water and nutrients and remain healthy together. Like the trees in the forest, the deep relationships you build with your internal team AND your customers lead to a healthy culture and a healthy business.

In 2022, Jon sold Brand Vaughan Lumber Company to US LBM, which operates more than 400 locations nationwide under multiple brand names. Jon remained with the company for two years, ensuring that the legacy of the brand that carries his name will remain. Today, Jon’s LinkedIn profile lists his occupation as “Summer Camp Instructor and Youth Sports Coach.” So, maybe Jon isn’t spending as much time with trucks that have his name on it, but he is still investing in a family business, but now the name is on the back of a jersey …

This month, we did something a little different with our monthly huddle. Instead of sharing the wisdom of some of the amazing people who’ve come to share their insights with us (make sure to go back and read them!), we want to share something from our heart about our call to service.

Here at The Grant Partners, we are committed to a set of core values that drive everything we do. To be honest with you, pretty much every company says that these days … which is fantastic! When it becomes commonplace for companies to write down AND live their core values, then the world is moving in the right direction! We become jaded by watching the news and seeing moral and ethical failings of leaders across the business spectrum. Sometimes it is beneficial to just remind ourselves that there are far more companies who are doing great things than those who are not.

As we all strive to have a positive impact on the marketplace and our community, we often need to come back to the values that ground us and remind ourselves that they are the mirror we must look to daily. For us, one of those values is that we are Purpose Driven. We define that by being “committed to excelling, knowing that we’re serving an audience of one and it’s our pledge to be worthy of this opportunity.” This anchors us and serves as a constant reminder of where we fit in this universe. We serve a God who created us and he calls us to serve.

For many, the idea of service is usually constrained to things like building a habitat house, doing a park or river cleanup day or passing out meals at a food bank. These are all wonderful ways to give back and can be amazingly powerful experiences, but we don’t have to limit service to those projects. From the business aspect, taking the God-given skills that have made us successful in the marketplace and using them to help organizations who can’t normally afford those services is a great way to give back. It sounds so simple, but so often we miss this way to give our time and talents to make our communities better.

Here at The Grant Partners, one place where we’ve taking this approach to service is with the Westside Future Fund (WFF), which exists to help revitalize the Historic Westside of Atlanta. Made up of five distinct communities – Vine City, English Avenue, Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center and Just Us, the Westside has served as the breeding ground for some of Atlanta’s most impactful leaders – most notably Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – who raised his young family in Vine City. Rooted in the vision of Dr. King’s “Beloved Community,” the WFF helps residents on the Westside renovate and afford quality housing in the area. They also partner with other neighborhood organizations to advocate for community health and wellness, safety and security, and efforts to holistically improve quality of life.

To truly accomplish this bold vision, it requires the support of so many. That’s where we (and maybe you!) come in. Here at The Grant Partners, we have supported the WFF by using our core skillset (executive search) to help recruit inspired leaders to the organization and they work tirelessly to bring the vision to life. So many other Atlanta companies supported the WFF in a similar manner, which is why the WFF is making so much progress toward accomplishing their mission.

Another quote from Dr. King brings us back to that core value of service. He once said that “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

I am sure that your company has a set of core values, and they are the bedrock of your culture. You also have a group of talented people with a heart to serve. When we can pair up their God-given talents with organizations that are in desperate need of those abilities, great things can happen.

Did you know that the penny wasn’t always the smallest coin in circulation in the U.S.? It was actually the Half Cent, which according to the Coinage Act of 1792 was “to be of the value of half a cent, and to contain five penny-weights and half a penny-weight of copper.” That little coin hung around until the Coinage Act of 1857 before becoming a relic people scour the internet to find.

I’m sure you didn’t click on this story to get a history lesson on U.S. coinage, but the plight of the Half Cent reminds us that so few things in life are permanent and we must all adapt to change, not the kind that rattles in your pocket, rather the kind that can rattle your organization.

Bob Lewis has spent an entire career navigating and leading through change, first as an executive with an international talent recruitment firm and now as an advisor to leaders through his company LewisLeadership. Bob joined our team at The Grant Partners recently for our monthly huddle to talk about how change can affect our organization and those we serve.

Bob reminded us that change is common, but that doesn’t make it easy to navigate. He used a host of descriptive words to describe change, including natural, constant, necessary, catalytic, unpredictable, duality, stressful, unsettling and hard. The onus is on leaders to guide the organization through change. In order for leaders to effectively manage change within their organization, they must support their people, manage the process and respond to the organization’s needs. Even good change will have an impact on the organization because when significant change is introduced, there is a natural hit on morale, communication & productivity.

Bob used the metaphor of a trapeze act. For organizations to successfully manage change, team members must be able to let go of what they know, trust other people and understand that there is safety net.

Finally, Bob talked to us about the three phases of change – Endings, Explorations and New Beginnings. Understanding the emotional and cultural ramifications of each phase is critical for consultants who assist organizations through change. We add value to our clients through our understanding of the evolution of change and its phases. We have the advantage of being able to apply an understanding of their phase and what they need based on our experiences with others going through similar change.

Which brings us back to the coins in our pocket. Amazingly, it costs 2.72 cents to make, administer and distribute the 1-cent penny coin and 10 cents to make a nickel, and yet we haven’t made a major change to our currency in more than 50 years. Maybe the lowly Half Cent has something to teach us about change. While it can be hard, we must learn to embrace it in order to move forward and allow for the possibilities waiting on the other side.

Are Search Consultants Crisis Counselors?

Are search consultants crisis counselors? What about accountants, construction foreman or teachers? According to Bryan Harris, this month’s guest for our team huddle, the answer would be a resounding yes, we just need to change the way we think about crisis.

Bryan is a longtime friend of The Grant Partners. Bryan spent 17 years at Jackson Spalding, which was where he first met Ryan Grant, who worked for a client of the agency.

When I began my entrepreneurial journey with The Grant Partners, Bryan became one of the sounding boards for our team as we grew. We’ve been able to serve some of the same clients over time, including the College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta Braves, The Varsity, Padgett Business Services and others, so Bryan’s visit to the office was like welcoming an old friend into the living room.

Bryan led the sports practice at Jackson Spalding and, starting in 2020, took over leadership of the agency’s crisis practice. In that role, he helped organizations around the country manage through the host of issues that impacted the world over the past three years. 

In February of this year, Bryan left to start his own firm called 25 Hits. He talked about how hard it was to leave an agency where he had spent 17 years (he still serves as a strategic partner with Jackson Spalding on certain key accounts where he played a large role in the past), but he really believed that it was important to refocus on the sports industry where he had deepest ties and could use his 20 years of experience to impact organizations in a new way.  

Our lunch discussion revolved around the word crisis and how terrifying it is for some people. Throughout his career, Bryan heard many talented team members say they were not “crisis” people, which struck him as odd. These were mothers and fathers who managed households with multiple kids, coached youth baseball and soccer teams, cared for ailing parents and planned elaborate trips with their friends. While these may not fall in the category of crisis, they are complex problems that need solving. 

For that reason, Bryan prefers the term issues management rather than crisis. In his words, “Not every issue is a crisis, but every crisis is an issue that needs to be managed.” In the end, an issue is just a problem that is looking for a solution. Few people wake up in the morning looking for a crisis to manage, but nearly everyone can get excited about helping others solve problems.

Bryan helped us look at our world, executive search, and see that we are doing issues management every day. Whether replacing a long-time leader, helping re-evaluate an organization’s management structure or facilitating rapid growth, we are helping organizations solve a problem that is vital to their future success. 

In industries like ours, the goal should be to move from contracted consultant to trusted advisor. Bryan used the example of how metal is shaped into items like golf clubs. The first way is casting. That is where hot metal is poured into a mold. It is faster and easier to do, but casting can produce uneven results and have weak spots that can eventually break. The other production method is called forging. This is where metal rods are heated and hammered into shape. This takes more effort and takes longer, but produces stronger, more consistent results. We may be hired (cast) as a consultant to do a job, but through the fire of a complex issue, a relationship is forged, and we move into that role of trusted advisor.

Some traits that he has found valuable while helping clients manage complex issues include:

  • We need to listen to Ted Lasso and learn to be a goldfish. No issue is managed perfectly, and we can’t let yesterday’s “could’ve been better” negatively affect what we do today. Have a short memory and move on.
  • We need to be like Lloyd and Harry and ask the dumb question. Many times, we are brought in because everyone inside the decision-making room thinks the same way. Someone needs to ask the “dumb” question no one else is asking.
  • Don’t believe you can be David Copperfield and make the issue magically go away. Your goal is not to make things disappear, but to help the client manage through the issue and open their doors tomorrow.
  • Learn to be like Elsa and Let it Go. As problem solvers, we are brought in many times when times are tough, and spirits are down. We can’t let the issues of our clients weigh on us and prevent us from being present and joyful away from work. They need us at our best and we must learn to put their issues on the shelf when we are with those we love so we can come back whole tomorrow.

In the end, Bryan reminded us that our job, at its core, is to serve our client in their time of need. Crisis counselors are problem solvers who help their clients dig out of the deepest pits so that they can be with them to celebrate after their biggest victories. 

It is in the eye of the hurricane where the winds are most calm. For those who have experienced it, they describe an eerie stillness, where the sun peeks through and the effects of the ravaging storm around them are not felt. While the outer bands can see winds that exceed 150 miles per hour, the center of the storm feels a light breeze. Mohamed (Mo) Massaquoi knows what this feels like.

In a short number of years, Mohamed (Mo) Massaquoi has lived many lives. Each with its twists and turns and lessons learned to carry into the next stage. Mo describes himself as an athlete, father, husband, and psychologist. In his professional life, he is the managing director of VESSOL.

We we’re blessed to have Mo over for this month’s huddle to learn more about VESSOL and the impact and incredible value they drive for their clients.

Today, Mo uses his experiences to help organizations harness their team’s true potential, maximize performance and positively impact the broader business. They do that by working with their clients to identify performance barriers preventing employees from being their best and creating customized solutions to hit their goals.

Mo shared with us his belief that experiences are like breadcrumbs that we leave behind. Mo uses his platform to encourage others to leverage their past experiences and look at things from a new perspective. While probably not as dramatic as Mo’s, we all have breadcrumbs that can help us as we navigate the storms ahead.

In his workshops he helps employees look at their real self vs. what industry says should be the right path. These insights can help individuals, and the broader organization, grow and evolve.

Mo believes that piercing the hearts and minds of people to ensure alignment with the organization is the hardest challenge for leaders. For this to happen, leaders must:

  • Have situational awareness to keep the team aligned.
  • Understand nuances and cultures.
  • Find ways to get people to perform in ways that are natural and on the same page as the company.
  • Understand what is going on across roles to help eliminate bias and redundancies.

For an organization to succeed long-term and weather the storms that will inevitably come, everyone must have agreement on direction. Good people will come and go, but leaders must look at this as an opportunity to integrate new perspectives and bring new skills that can make the organization better.

One of the key lessons that Mo has translated from the field to the business world is the value of affirmation from coaches and teammates. When people feel valued and supported by those around them, they are more willing to tackle “big” things. Creating a culture that is supportive and embrace the possible is vital to an organization’s long-term success.

Our team was honored to spend time with Mo and we are all searching the breadcrumbs of our past to find the lessons those experiences are trying to teach us.

Benjamin Franklin once famously said “The handshake of the host affects the taste of the roast.” 

No one understood this more than Truett Cathy, who created the Chick-fil-A sandwich in a three-stool diner called the Dwarf House in Hapeville, Ga. While the sandwich he created was incredibly tasty, he knew what enhanced the flavor far more than your favorite sauce was the smile on the face of the person who handed it to you and a gracious “My pleasure…” that followed. It was those personal touches that built a bond with their customers that sustains the brand to this day.

That consistent experience at Chick-fil-A isn’t by accident. It has been curated across more than 50 years of exceeding the expectations of their customers. One of the architects of that experience is Elizabeth Dixon, who shared her insights with our team at this month’s huddle.

Elizabeth first worked with Chick-fil-A in 2004, when she led the creation of their Corporate Wellness Program through Cooper Aerobics. By 2015, she was serving inside Chick-fil-A’s corporate office, working to refine their customer experience program. The key to crafting this experience was identifying the problems that customers faced and creating a mindset with their team members to find real solutions to those problems. 

One relevant insight she shared was how Chick-fil-A created a culture that empowered employees to take ownership of their job and ensure that each customer had a great experience. If something went wrong, the team member was empowered to make it right, and then they went above and beyond by giving the customer a “Be Our Guest” card to encourage them to come back. 

This feeling of empowerment leads to another key mindset – engagement. 

When people feel empowered, they step into the void and engage the tough issues. They become problem-solvers. She noted how good leaders distinguish between people problems and process problems. People problems can be addressed at the personal level. Process problems allow engaged team members to thrive if leaders create high challenge, high support environments. 

Engaged team members are encouraged to work through the issues and make real, tangible improvements. Anyone who has ever been through a Chick-fil-A drive-thru and seen team members walking the line with iPads has seen firsthand how seemingly insurmountable problems can be solved with a little creativity. 

In August of 2022, Elizabeth took this mindset into a different arena when she joined the Trilith Foundation as Executive Director. The foundation was created by Chick-fil-A Chairman Dan Cathy as a companion to Trilith Town and Trilith Studios, the latter of which is the second-largest film and television studio in North America. While the venue may be different, the principles of creating remarkable customer experiences has not changed. 

We could have spent hours with Elizabeth as she shared lessons from her career. Fortunately, she has put many of them in her new book, The Power of Customer Experience. Our team will be diving into her book and putting the lessons into practice as we aim to serve our customers better every day, just like Truett did.

We’ve all heard the phrase from Scripture “there is nothing new under the sun…” 

As The Grant Partners grows, we are constantly reminded of this wise but simple fact. That is why we are intentional every month to come together and learn from professionals who have walked a similar path and trying to learn from their successes and failures. As we discussed last month, these huddles are a great way for us to take stock of where we are and focus on where we want to go as an organization.  

Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting with Glen Jackson, the co-founder of Jackson Spalding, one of the country’s leading marketing communications agencies. Glen is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to creating a preeminent organization (we encourage you to listen to his two-part interview with Andy Stanley). 

Glen is a living example of one of the greatest lessons in effective communications ever told, the triptych from Aristotle. It’s very simple:

  1. Tell them what you’re going to say
  2. Say it
  3. Tell them what you said 

That could be a great synopsis of Glen’s career. Glen wrote down what he wanted to do, then he did it and now he’s graciously sharing with others what he did. I know we’ve hit King Solomon, Aristotle and Glen Jackson and we’re supposed to be talking about a 60-minute lunch conversation, but I promise this will all make sense once you hear what Glen had to share.

Write it down …

Glen and Bo Spalding were leaders at the Atlanta office of a national public relations agency. While working hard to serve clients locally, they grew frustrated at the distance between the decision-makers, many of whom were scattered across the country, and those impacted by their decisions, namely the clients and employees in Atlanta. 

In a phrase that ultimately would become the bedrock of Jackson Spalding, the two believed there was a “better way” to run a business, so they decided to make a bet on themselves and build their own independent agency. Before they opened their doors, they made one vital decision that has been the key to their success — they spent hours crafting their vision and values before they took the leap. Each word carefully thought out and intentionally chosen, those vision and values have remained the same since their founding in 1995.


Live it out …

Once Glen and Bo put their vision and values on paper, they put them into practice. As Glen shared with us, excellence takes time and persistence. What started as an eight-person shop is now nearly 150 people spread out across four offices in Atlanta, Athens, Dallas and Los Angeles. A common byproduct of growth is an erosion of culture, which is why Jackson Spalding can sum up their hiring approach in what they call the 5Cs – Character, Class, Confidence, Competence and Chemistry. But hiring is only one piece of building a preeminent organization, which is why Glen has worked hard to model small traits that can have a big impact. These include:

  • DTUs – Do The Unexpected to deepen relationships inside and outside the organization. Handwritten notes, flowers or a thoughtful book can create ties that bind.
  • R&B Music – Networking is transactional, but relationship building is transformational. Glen preaches to his team about being narrow and deep, building genuine relationships that yield great returns.
  • Ships that help organizations sail – Leadership, Mentorship, Stewardship, Entrepreneurship and many other “ships” are important to build a healthy organization that lasts.


Tell others about it …

The organization that Glen and Bo built has become one of the best agencies in America. Their client list is a who’s who of great brands. Glen could have taken the wisdom built throughout the agency’s 27 years and rode off into retirement, but instead he has made the decision to pass the learnings along to anyone who will listen. He wrote a book, called Preeminence, which summarizes many of the lessons he has learned throughout his career. Glen also spends much of his week mentoring young leaders and speaking to organizations about what it takes to build a preeminent organization. 

So maybe Aristotle had it right. Sometimes the most profound things are profoundly simple. 

Glen, and his Jackson Spalding team, have walked the path that we are on at The Grant Partners, and his willingness to share lessons along the way are so important to growing organizations like ours. Here at The Grant Partners, we are following in Bo and Glen’s footsteps in many ways. Our values are prominently displayed and guide us as an organization. We work hard to live them out every day as we serve our clients as they grow their organizations. Finally, we are always looking for ways to give back to those who can learn from our successes and failures as they march down that long and arduous path to preeminence, following in the footsteps of people like King Solomon, Aristotle and Glen Jackson. 

The Grant Partners Make it Better Together

A few years ago, the New York Times wrote a story on one of the most ubiquitous elements in football that was disappearing in front of our eyes – the huddle. For many, this is just a natural byproduct of an evolving game. It just removes an element that slowed the game down, which means less plays and less opportunities to score.

Many will argue whether this is a good or bad thing on the football field, but in growing organizations, the huddle is invaluable. As teams grow and expand, it is natural to feel like movement is progress and stopping, just for a moment, can bring that momentum to a halt. Unfortunately, that constant motion can be what causes breakdowns in communications and stifles a healthy culture.

Here at The Grant Partners, one of our core values is “Make it Better Together.” It’s hard to get better together if we don’t intentionally stop what we are doing and actually come together as a group. So, in 2023, we are committing to doing that every month and leaning into that core value.

At our first Huddle of the year, we were honored to be joined by David Hoyt, from The Table Group. The Table Group was founded by best-selling author and pioneer of the organizational health movement Patrick Lencioni. Patrick, David and their team are driven to make organizational health a reality in companies and organizations everywhere. Their fundamental principle, which we often share with our clients, is that a healthy organization achieves greater results, builds a more loyal customer base, and develops fulfilled employees.

The exercises and applications David walked us through facilitated candid and honest conversations. As a team, we all left knowing each other better and with set goals to hold each other accountable and make our team a shared success.

A quote often shared by Lencioni is, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, any time.” Never has this been more evident than in the 1936 Olympics. Chronicled in the book The Boys in the Boat, the 1936 U.S. Olympic Rowing team shocked the world by winning the gold medal despite unfathomable odds. One of the more enduring images of that team is of the eight shabbily-dressed athletes huddling with their coach prior to the final race. That moment of coming together before separating to do their individual jobs led to one of the greatest athletic triumphs in Olympic history.

While we may not win gold medals or have books and movies written about us, we believe, like those boys on the boat, that taking a moment to stop and come together make us a better team and allow us to serve our clients more effectively.

Make it Better Together.

If your perception of executive search is simply culling through resumes and scouring LinkedIn, then you’ve got the wrong idea of who we are. At the Grant Partners, we see ourselves as your dedicated, loyal partner in the ongoing war on talent.

And if we’re going to win, that means we need the best strategy, the best tools and the best approach possible. That’s why we take a unique and effective approach to executive search that helps you attract the very best talent.

See, we believe there is an art and a science behind search. Here’s how we tackle it.

Understanding the science

Unlike, say, complex chemistry, the science of search is fairly easy to understand. It’s the process that we use to identify talent for our clients. We are process and timeline-driven, and we rely on metrics and assessments to give us the best information possible to inform our decisions.

We’re targeting candidates to interview based on their competency, and we’re leveraging the various assessments of them to better understand their motivations, their goals and how they’d fit within the culture of our clients.

Embracing the art

Where we feel we make a difference is the experience we deliver to our clients. We do this by putting an emphasis on the importance of relationships and service. We bring the elements of hospitality, empathy and care to our search efforts. We believe it’s our responsibility to be visionary storytellers for our client, painting a picture of the opportunity they want to share, rather than simply checking off boxes.

And we also have a desire to build relationships and serve the candidates we engage with. They are placing their faith and trust in us, contemplating a significant career move, and that’s why we provide such a high-touch, high-feel level of service throughout the acquisition process.

Becoming a partner

We want to be viewed as an extension of our client’s team, a trusted advisor who seeks to drive results and provide the counsel and guidance that can strengthen their brand. Our hospitality-focused approach to search is simply one example of that, as we strive to help our clients think through the entire talent wheel, from talent acquisition to employee engagement strategies.

One of our values is to deliver “wow” through our service, and by embracing the art and science that power our approach to executive search we’re able to ensure our clients wins the war on talent.