Leadership, Balance, and Lifetime Learning with Brianna Rooney | Episode 47

What drew me immediately to Brianna Rooney, CEO of Techees.com and the Millionaire Recruiter, was her ability to develop a thriving business, get results from her matchmaking system for recruiters, and still make family an absolute priority.

Her team’s approach to the highly competitive field of recruiting is unlike what I’ve seen with most recruiters — right down to her philosophy about that competition. “I don’t find other recruiters to be competitors,” she shared. “I want us all to come together to have a more well-respected industry.” That’s why she pours time and resources into providing some of the most comprehensive recruiting training in the business.

That’s leadership. I asked her about early challenges and was surprised to learn that her launch into the recruiting space and business ownership was without the usual pitfalls. Her business was up and running fast and she had her first deal in the first month. Challenges didn’t really arise until she was two and a half years in and realized this was more than a small business that she ran out of her room. This was a growing entity that she had to treat like the burgeoning business it was.

Know your why, it’s your superpower. #leadershiplessons #contractedleadership @BriannaRooney84 Click To Tweet

I am a firm believer that there’s a very big difference between being serious about starting a business and taking your business seriously. The people that fall into the first part but don’t move into the second usually end up in that 85% that don’t make it.

Brianna takes it seriously. While she had a passion for being a hands-on recruiter and loved being in the bullpen making things happen with her team – she knew she was hindering the growth of the company because you just cannot (and should not) wear all the hats. Her CEO hat had to take priority for growth to occur. That’s why she took action to put personal and professional development at the top of her to-do list this year and why her company and her team has seen so much transformation. I thought that made for the perfect segue to turn our conversation to our core theme at Contracted Leadership – helping leaders develop mutually meaningful work engagements.

From a recruiting client standpoint, creating those experiences starts by ensuring they are matching the right candidates to clients. That matchmaking process often includes a lengthy question and answer session and usually an office tour. What does their career development path look like? What is their interview process and how long does it take? Brianna is a self-proclaimed “nitty gritty” recruiter. Which is exactly what you want to see. “Everyone has to be on the same page,” she shared. I couldn’t agree more. She recently received her certificate in diversity and inclusion so she could add that layer of training on for her recruiters and clients as well.

I was interested to find out if she had a defining question that would help her best understand her client’s needs so she could more perfectly match candidates and I love that she said, “Describe your culture and company values and what they mean.” It’s very similar to what we do when we do here with our Contracted Leadership clients. When we embed in an organization, one of our first priorities is to engage with employees and ask, “Tell me what your company values are and what you do to support that?” Sometimes that is a question they can answer swiftly, other times not. Both tell us something about how we can best support the growth of that client and create new paths for those meaningful work engagements.

From a recruiting candidate standpoint, utilizing an extensive Q&A process to dig deep into what that person is looking for from their new employer such as what drives them, what industry makes the most sense for them, and even what doesn’t work for them is imperative. With a clear understanding of both sides of the equation, a recruiting team is best able to match wants, needs, personalities, and paths.

To commit to organizational growth, you have to give up a few hats. #leadershiplessons #contractedleadership @BriannaRooney84 Click To Tweet

Next, I wanted to explore the question of creating balance for leaders – especially those with small children. Brianna and I both have kids around the same age, so I wanted her take on the matter. When she had her children, Brianna dropped a day from her work week so that day could be solely spent on family time. She was surprised to later discover that year had become one her best and most productive years. It’s inspiring to know that when your big WHY is your kids and family, we can then get more done in less time, create laser focus, and put systems in place that help us safeguard that priority.

When she’s with her kids, her phone is on silent, her focus is on them, and on enjoying and cultivating that quality time that, as she said, “you can’t ever get back once it’s gone”. When she’s at work, she does everything she can to maximize and leverage that time for it’s highest and best purposes.

It’s a commitment we both share. For me, I keep a picture of my kids front and center when I’m at work to create that focus on family balance. When I’m at work, I’m completely committed to maximizing my results in that time. My team gets that, gets me, and why that’s so important. My feeling is if time is getting wasted, that’s taking it from them, not just me, and I’m not going to let that happen. While the reality for all leaders, entrepreneurs, and business professionals is that there is never completely equal work/personal/family time, there are many things we can do to ensure the time we spend in each of these areas of our lives are as meaningful as we can make them.

Just as many of our Contracted Leadership clients have shared with us through the years, Brianna told us how much an executive coach changed her leadership course. She had a great analogy of how a personal trainer after the birth of her kids gave her the “kick in the butt” she needed to take care of her body but she hadn’t then yet connected the dots of the value of someone providing that “kick in the butt” she needed for her business. She’s now elevated another team member to Chief Growth Officer, and together they are redefining the way they do business, how they interact and create experiences for their team, and make space for everyone to develop the “key moments” that can be game changing personally and professionally. Love that.

I also loved the John Bennett quote that she shared that graces her desk and keeps her grounded which says, “Since we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions, which are invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light of their actions, which are all that’s visible to us, we have a situation in which misunderstanding and injustice are the order of the day.” What a great reminder, as Brianna shared, “To give each other grace and learn to communicate better, always.”

So, what were the top take-aways for leaders and emerging leaders?

  1. If you’re going to start your own business, be fearless. Get in that state of doing, not just thinking. The world is always changing, so just roll with it.
  2. You’re never done learning. There are so many levels of success, learning helps us to keep reaching for the next one.
  3. Know your why – it’s your superpower. For us, it’s family – what is that for YOU?

This will be a session that I know I will listen to again. Brianna shared so much engaging and inspired information and insights. I was delighted to have her on as our guest.

True leaders are lifelong learners. #leadershiplessons #contractedleadership @BriannaRooney84 Click To Tweet

Now, how will you take these ideas for leadership, synchronicity, and being in a state of constant learning and put them to work in your life and business? Let’s have that conversation!

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