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The best billers aren’t usually the best leaders… but they can be

Posted on 31/10/2019
by Nick Boulton

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Do the best billers make the best managers? It’s a question I wrestle with a lot. Finding successful leaders and managers is one of the hardest things to get right because great leaders are worth their weight in gold

The answer is (and this may shock you): Usually not, but they can be.

In recruitment, your top billers are the most driven, selfish and dedicated people in your business. They’ll bend the rules again and again. They won’t steal your cash or your partner (well, maybe your partner…) but they will cut corners, they will dodge process, and they will moan when they’re caught.

The big mistake agencies make is conflating success on the floor with leadership potential. Far from it. When a top biller is placed in a leadership role, they often find it difficult to channel their key attributes effectively. A lot of the time, they’re a disruptive influence who blame others – particularly their team – for their lack of success.

That’s when the moaning starts: “Another bad hire.” “Weren’t trained well enough.” “We’re losing our culture and standards.” The best leaders don’t offer excuses. 

But it is possible for top billers to be great leaders. It’s a major mind-shift, but if they’re able to channel their energy into their teams, they succeed.

There are definitely born leaders who take to leadership like a duck to water. But there are many who, with help, guidance and experience can become great leaders. What you need to look out for, apart from performing their day to day duties are:

  • Honesty and loyalty: This is paramount. Every single successful leader has these in abundance.
  • Care: A good leader will care about other people in the business and celebrate their success - they don’t point out the part they’ve played. They’re also adept at bringing up those who are down.
  • They definitely don’t have the biggest mouth—they have the biggest heart.
  • People who have genuinely bought into the culture and vison of your business.
  • Driven, hungry and dedicated—but not to the detriment of other people.

These people – top biller or not – will be your best managers and leaders. The key is to nurture, grow and help them embrace responsibility, especially when things aren’t going to plan.

Tell them to ask for help, don’t see it as failure, it’s actually a sign of strength as a leader recognising your frailties.

There is more to being the best manager then just being the best biller. Being the best biller is far easier!

​Photo: Freepik.com


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