I started off in recruitment as I had friends that I admired in the industry that made a lot of money from getting people jobs, I thought it was honourable, getting somebody a job, and, I was 25 – I wanted to be paid as much as possible for the little knowledge on life I held.  

I then started working on more senior roles. Why?

The salaries were higher, the fees were bigger, and, I enjoyed that their was more structure and accountability to the process, it played to my ego. Own the process, own the client, own the outcome – I revelled in a position where I could write the theme tune and sing the theme tune (tenuous but relevant link to 2 of my favourite British programs – 10 points for anybody that can name them in the comments).

I then got involved in retained executive search in 2008, I complete two CFO searches in quick succession and I am proud that one of the gentleman is still in his role 12 years later, still providing business and shareholder value – (Hope you and the family are all well Steve Ellis at QPark). I thrived in the pressure of absolutely getting it right, business critical appointments, board scrutiny, difficult conversations with strong willed executives (the good ones not wanting to make a change!) and working as a true partner to understand a client,  warts and all.

I had found my calling. Why?

I made it my problem if a business was under performing and needed to change. I made it my priority for them to find and more importantly treat the people in the process and the inbound executive ‘properly’. I made it my sleepless night if one element of the process wasn’t going to plan. I made it my agenda to follow up 1 week, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years down the line. I made it my decision what was the right way to assess the shortlist –best tool, best provider and most accurate data set.

I was then able to transfer this positive element of my inflated ego into assessment and Non Executive hiring. I work with the two best assessment providers in the world, Why? They passed my validity test and scrutiny, then they provided demonstrable client value, my ego now allowed me to put my name to them.

We help MENA clients build Non Executive Boards, Why? I want them to be grateful of the day they met ecap – I want it to be the best day of their corporate lives. Why? 1 year, 5 years or 10 years down the line  – I want them to tell people that the advice they received created shareholder value, drove the sale or pushed the IPO, more importantly the Non Executive or Advisory Team we created…….made the business and the Executive team BETTER.

I have friends that I have known for over 20 years that I respect immensely who are leaders in their fields (John Morris, Marcus Bentley, Garry Holland and Aaron Drewitt to name but a few) what are the consistent themes amongst them all.

Well, they all have large egos (anybody who knows them will vouch for that) but the one trend I consistently observe is they have ultimately been incredibly successful because they CARE!

They want their clients to hire the best,  they want their players to win premier league titles/European cups, they want the family business to be the number one player and win corporate awards or they want their Formula E merchandise to be at the ‘cutting edge’ of the industry. The Ego’s attached to the individual will never allow them to think that second best or minimal effort is good enough or acceptable.

So,  if you haven’t already, find your WHY? It will change your career.

Working hard for something you care about is just exactly that, HARD WORK.  Working hard for something you don’t care about is UNREWARDING, can impact your Mental Health, and, ultimately equates to STRESS.

Author: Daniel Murphy – Director and Co-Founder at www.teamecap.com