"I think that the fastest way to grow a business is to connect with your customers, not convince them."
Business Growth Advisor and Consultant Nigel Green shared that thought with me on a recent podcast interview, and I haven't been able to get the phrase out of my head ever since.
Green, who helped lead a healthcare sales company from $94 million to $350 million of revenue in just 36 months, certainly knows a thing or two about growing a business quickly.
In his previous role, as CEO of StoryBrand, he helped clients like Pantene, Intel and Berkshire Hathaway clarify their marketing messages to improve customer engagement.
Along with building businesses and helping clients clarify their marketing strategies, Green also shared with me his core philosophy of building a successful team inside your own company.
These days, everyone has their own opinions around how to recruit and build a dream team of professionals.
In fact, LinkedIn recently released a report revealing the trends that they say will define recruiting in 2017. And while buzzwords like the "war on talent" continue to circle, Green says recruiting and team-building actually comes down to 3 C's.
Character, Chemistry and ... Significant Others?
"The most important thing that I'm looking for in any type of talent is character," Green says. "Chemistry is the number two 'C', because if someone's got great character but we're just not naturally going to jibe, it's going make for a really challenging work dynamic."
One of the unconventional ways Green feels out character and chemistry is through spousal interviews.
"If you are hiring someone that has a spouse and you're not sitting down with that spouse, I think you're making a big mistake," he says. "Here's why. I want to know, is the spouse supportive? I want to know, how does this person interact with his or her spouse? Is their marriage an important thing? Can I pick up on something that's unhealthy that is going to poison this team I'm trying to build? And so I think it's very important."
Green also says that chemistry is not about everyone getting along, but rather having alignment.
"Healthy cultures know intuitively that conflict is not strife, it is merely the search for the greatest truth," he says. "And therefore it is encouraged, and you can conduct conflict in a healthy way."
Competency is Key
Green's third "C" is Competency.
"It's the one everyone expects you to start with," he notes. "I'm not as worried about that, because I can teach you how to be competent if I need to.
"And if you have a healthy environment at home, a supportive spouse, he or she is going to be supportive of the long days and late nights of you getting competent, of doing the work and learning what you need to."
For Green, much like building a business, building a top-notch team is more about connection than convincing.
"It's about setting yourself up for success, and setting yourself up for success quickly," he says. "That's how I like to do it."