High Performance: The absolute best way to find good people

March 24, 2014 -  By

Photo: Kristina Hoeppne/

I often am asked for advice on finding good people, as many organizations struggle in this area. Of course, I have a long list of powerful strategies to share. But I’m going to tip you off to what I feel is the absolute best way to find good people—maybe even great people.

Amazingly, this strategy is so simple it’s often overlooked, ignored or discarded. Once I tell you what it is, you’ll understand why this is so. Here goes.

The absolute best way to find good people is to look within your organization and hold onto the good people you already have. If you retain your good people, you will not only have one less hole to fill, but you’ll find good people attract other good people. The more good people you have, the more desirable your organization will be and vice versa. Instead of worrying about finding new good people, maybe it’s time to be concerned with holding onto your existing good people.

In my 30 plus years in management, I’ve seen very few examples of organizations that take seriously the need to proactively and intentionally hold onto good people. They prefer to overlook, ignore or discard this area. Of course, these are the same organizations that complain about not being able to find good people.

Most organizations are made up of some good people, some not-so-good people and a few great people. I’m sure you know who is who in your organization. It’s usually obvious. In my experience, many good people are frustrated. They don’t see opportunity. Their managers or owners lack leadership or communication skills. They don’t feel appreciated. It’s the same for great people, only magnified. They are ripe for picking and would jump at a new opportunity if it came along.

What’s interesting is that most managers or owners would be surprised to learn this is true. The assumption is that everyone is perfectly content and committed for life. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve seen hundreds of examples of good people jumping ship for the reasons I’ve stated above, causing other good people to follow suit and leaving holes that need to be filled by—you guessed it—a good person.

Don’t forget about the good people you already have. They’re the good people you need.

So think about who your good people are, and then proactively create opportunity for them, lead them and show your appreciation for their hard work.

Photo: Kristina Hoeppne/

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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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