Top Talent versus Top Available Talent (JMOs)

A common frustration in both business and in yacht racing is finding and retaining top talent.

For the first two events of a race series I participated in earlier this year, I benefited from a team of top sailing talent put together by my sail maker friend, Glenn. Those guys made me look great! We finished second and were in contention for the top spot.

They were great sailors and as such, they are in demand. Unfortunately, the majority of the time they have better options and competing priorities. For my team to get better over the long term, I needed a committed team who I could count on.

Sound familiar business leaders? My solution, for business and for my boat: Focus on top available talent.

The top talent I mentioned initially are great to have, as they have proven their aptitude in a specific area, but the pursuit of them is an opportunistic endeavor.

Onboarding top available talent, on the other hand, is a programmatic venture. What they lack in (sailing) experience, they make up for in desire and availability. They are highly trainable, physically capable and most importantly, they want to become top talent. The majority of my current crew come from this talent pool.

It takes more effort initially to utilize top available talent, but we’re building for the future. As their experience grows, the results will be consistent top finishes, and better finishes on average than an “off and on” top talent team.

In business, top talent are known to move around as well. Maybe they accomplished their own goals ahead of the enterprise, or better options for them have come along.

Do you have a good group of top available talent to build with? Junior military officers (JMOs) are the ultimate in top available talent for just about any business. If they are not part of your plan, they should at least be part of your conversation. Based on 20+ years of experience, Bradley-Morris knows how they can fit into your “crew” in case you need a helping hand.

Let me know what you think about the top available talent approach.

Bobby Whitehouse