Look, I get it - some of you won't be hiring for a while based on COVID and the resulting economic struggles.
Which makes now the perfect time to look at your team of direct reports and ask the following question:
"Do I have someone to carry the writing load in this department?"
I'm not talking about hiring a writer as a standalone position. I'm talking about the need for you to always have someone on your team of direct reports with writing as a key secondary skill. Why is this important? Because you need someone to take the great reactions/outcomes/action plans from you and your team and create effective communications to the masses.
Simply put, you can be a great leader with a great team - but if you can't effectively win in how you communicate what's going on to the masses, you'll never realize your potential as a leader or a department.
If you're not managing others yet and think you have the ability to write well in a professional setting, it's time for you to figure out a way to make writing one of your key differentiators.
The topic of great writing on teams is why I taped an episode of BEST HIRE EVER (my podcast on recruiting topics) with Lance Haun, a former HR pro turned professional writer and editor. Take a look at the rundown for the podcast below and give a listen (please subscribe and rate if you like it).
In Episode 5 of BEST HIRE EVER, Kris Dunn connects with Lance Haun (Starr Conspiracy, ERE, Former HR Pro) to talk about why hiring at least one great writer for your team makes incredible sense as a leader – regardless of your functional area or line of business. Lance and KD chop it up about how to spot, find and engage a candidate with writing skills in your hiring process, and how professionals looking to leverage their writing skills for career gain can get noticed.
Never satisfied with one great topic, KD and Lance also explore the Haun family’s history of sustainable meat and how Lance’s dad sees an explosion of business at his butcher shop when things like COVID hit the American marketplace.
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1:35 - KD starts by calling Lance Haun a killer writer. Lance blushes and begs off and calls his writing history a humbling experience.
2:04 - KD breaks down Lance. HR pro at the start, starting one of the first HR blogs, then becomes a professional writer in our space at ERE and Starr Conspiracy. Lance describes when he knew writing was his differentiator.
7:30 - Lance talks about “social proof” as being the addictive side of writing. Translation – reactions to your writing are good.
9:05: Lance and KD talk about the need for great talent to have writing skills. Lance talks about learning styles still including and being influenced by the written word. KD balks and says he thought that the world was being changed forever by video. #joking
12:55 – What’s the best way for a leader to test and confirm that someone can add value as a writer on their team? Lance recommends communicating more than normal via email as a test – long email threads. In addition, getting into someone’s process of creating written work product is key to understand their approach to the craft.
16:00 – Lance talks about knowing who the communicators are in your workplace and how that can help drive internal mobility in your company.
19:30 – KD talks about why all leaders – even if they are great writers – need to hire for writing skills so that leader can become an editor rather than a production writer. #delegate
20:00 – Lance and KD talk about the right way to show your writing skills as a candidate. Maximizing your LinkedIn profile and presence is the path of least resistance and greatest reach for most professionals.
24:00 – Lance and KD talk about negative bias that may exist towards professionals who share their thoughts via blogs, LinkedIn and social. Being vocal and sharing your thoughts may limit overall opportunity, but you’ll be a candidate of choice for many of the companies and hiring managers that remain.
28:30 – Lance talks about his dad, the butcher shop and how his dad’s business has gone up during the COVID crisis. KD thinks Lance could be the Gary V of meat. Lance talks about surprising his dad by running Facebook ads to drive traffic to the shop during normal times. Haunsmeats.com
Links for Lance:
Haun’s Meats in Walla Walla WA!