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Ep. 62 The Secrets to Tapping Into the A-Player Network with David Burkus

When it comes to attracting A-Players to your business, tapping into the networks of A-Players is key. But, what if you have exhausted your contacts? Then what? In her latest edition in the How to Hire the Best Series, Dr. Sabrina shares David Burkus’ insights on how to network based on human behavior and psychology, and not rote networking advice that we frequently hear. David joins Dr. Sabrina to on today’s show to challenge our outdated notions about how we “should” network. These insights will be powerful in helping you attract A-Players to your team. Plus, Dr. Sabrina digs into radical management practices from David’s other book, Under New Management, that the Tap the Potential team and some of our clients are experiencing great success with.

David Burkus is a best-selling author, a sought-after keynote speaker, and an Associate Professor of Leadership and Innovation. His newest book, Friend of a Friend, offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections, one based on the science of human behavior, not rote networking advice. He’s delivered keynotes to the leaders of Fortune 500 companies and the future leaders of the United States Naval Academy. His TED Talk has been viewed over two million times and he is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review.

Show Highlights:

  • David’s inspiration for writing Friend of a Friend was from two different ideas: 1) New studies from the world of network science, which are fascinating but not always practical; and 2) Annoyance at the networking advice books, which tend to be autobiographical.
  • Dr. Sabrina covers a challenge business owners encounter with networking to attract A-players, and how she discovered the answers in one of David’s books.
  • When people think they’ve asked everyone they know when searching for an A-player, most of the time they have only asked people they feel comfortable asking.
  • The subtitle of David’s book is the Hidden Network and describes those people that you already know, but you’re forgetting.
  • Most people would benefit from a system where they’re constantly pinging those people, reaching out to them whenever a thought of them is triggered, such as by reading a news article or seeing something on social media that brings them to mind.
  • This move is beneficial for not only when you’re looking to hire, but looking to be hired, as well.
  • David explains the concept of tapping into networks through brokers, and the key to finding out if you’re already a broker or relying on brokers.
  • It’s not enough to just build a diverse team because the team, the longer it works together, will be less and less diverse. The longer they work together, the more they are going to think alike. Be mindful of constant refreshing.
  • Dr. Sabrina and David discuss the concept of “no email”, and how it can be doable and beneficial.
  • David delves into the science of oxytocin and what happens to us in our bodies when trust is extended and how we reciprocate around that.
  • Don’t cater to C-and-D-players when designing policies and procedures.
  • In North America, we brag about how much we work. We need to flip this and senior leaders need to be showy about how little they’re around and be gone so that other team members get the message that taking time off is actually Ok.
  • Dr. Sabrina and David discuss the 4-Week Vacation™ Challenge and David research backing up how important it is to fully unplug for an extended period of time.
  • Can you really get rid of the annual performance review? David says ditch it!
  • Instead, invest time in training your managers on how to coach team members.

Get Ready for 2020!! Are you on track to creating a highly profitable, great place to work that lets you take a 4 Week Vacation™?

Links and Resources:

Get the Book!! How to Hire the Best

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Connect with David!

Books Mentioned:

Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career,  by David Burkus

Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual, by David Burkus

How to Hire the Best, by Sabrina Starling PhD

Silos Politics and Turf Wars, by Patrick Lencioni

Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free Riding, by Orly Lobel

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.