I’m Not The Boss—You Are

Boss  photo

Turn the hiring process upside-down.  Most employers look to fill a role with a body.  As recently as 5 years ago, many products and services were not yet considered commodities.  Companies maintained leadership positions in their industries by differentiating their advertising efforts.  Today, the ad channels are clogged with noise.  Consumers aren’t paying enough attention to most brands’ advertising to be able to tell them apart.  What does that mean?  Differentiation and market advantage must take place BEFORE perceptions are formed about the brand.  It must take place at ground level.  Enter the new hiring model.


Employers used to hire individuals based on their ability to “get it”.  In other words, they hired them and trained them on the features and benefits to prepare them for success–the ability to proficiently overcome a sufficient number of objections to close deals and generate revenue.  Many of today’s customers research products and services on their own, essentially addressing concerns and closing deals before they ever seek advice.  So how does that change the sales role?

In a nutshell, anyone who wants to serve (not work for) any employer in the future will hire themselves by being passionate about their purpose.  They may even create their own roles inside an organization.  Traditional companies have rigid job descriptions and hierarchies for keeping people in line and bases covered.  In my company, I expect three specific things: 

  • Unquestionable loyalty to the parent brand to whom I am committed to serving.  Without their brand value proposition, my sub-brand does not exist.
  • Development of expert understanding of the products and services we provide.  That is the only thing that will offer customers the confidence they are seeking when they reach out to us.
  • The passionate pursuit of your own identity enabled by consistently advertising your worldview.

What if applicants actually started subscribing to these concepts?  How would the labor market change?