The Challenge of Finding Exceptional Team Members

Here’s a sneak peek into my upcoming book: How To Hire the Best: The Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members (Releasing September 15, 2020)


Consider that any population consists of about 10 percent A-Players. This means 90 percent of the people you encounter are B-, C-, D-, or F-Players. Furthermore, A-Players are rarely unemployed, reading job ads, and looking for work. They probably work elsewhere. A-Players typically move from one opportunity to the next. This explains why utilizing standard hiring practices typically results in mis-hiring. The odds really are stacked against you until you find better strategies for finding and hiring top team members.

Your attraction and hiring strategies need to align with how A-Players move from one opportunity to the next. Typical hiring strategies are out of alignment with the behavior of A-Players.

Because the challenge of finding exceptional team members seems difficult, you may feel as if you have no choice but to lower your standards. By lowering standards, you end up building a team of marginal members. They need excessive management, create problems with work ethic and quality, and bring others down. You might as well be spraying A-Player repellent all over your business.


Time and time again, owners who lower their hiring standards confide in me they spend way too much time managing team member problems. Some even say they long to simplify their business and go back to the days before they even had team members.

“There was no consistent way to engage with the people we wanted to come and work with us,” says Brian Hayes, co-owner of Ohio Property Brothers. “It was always something that was kind of made up either on the spot or there was no initial recruiting process. It became time that I needed A-Players to work with us. A year ago, we were just grabbing people and trying to make them fill roles. We weren’t organized enough.”

Spending too much time dealing with marginal to poor team members can have a lasting negative impact on you. Some owners sour on the idea of growing with team members and end up working too hard for too little money, essentially moving from owning a business to owning a job. They go back to being a one-person show, doing all the selling, work, paperwork, and billing. When they don’t work, they don’t make money. That means no vacations, no growth, and sometimes no hope. As David Houk of Houk Performance Therapy confided about his last vacation, “That was the most expensive vacation I ever took!” In that scenario, taking vacation means revenue stops. For business owners without a reliable team, vacations are nightmares in which the ticking clock is a reminder of lost revenue, while the rest of your family relaxes and has fun. 


The lack of quality team members also sends you down the slippery slope of self-doubt questioning your own ability to lead. When I hear an owner questioning his or her ability to lead, the first questions I ask are about the quality of the team members the owner is trying to lead. Many times, the issue is the quality of the employee more so than the quality of the leader.

For tips on how to work through these problems and coach your team more effectively, please be sure to check out How To Hire the Best: The Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members, releasing September 15, 2020.


About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.