The Talent War | Mike Sarraille

Summary of: The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent
By: Mike Sarraille


Dive into the world of special forces and talent acquisition with ‘The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent’ by Mike Sarraille. This book unveils how the highly-selective US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) identifies and recruits the best of the best for their elite teams. Drawing insights from Special Forces recruiting processes, the book offers valuable advice for businesses and organizations looking to recruit top talent as well. Explore the nine crucial character traits that make up an exceptional leader, learn the importance of taking a strategic approach to talent acquisition, and understand how to retain and develop employees by prioritizing their potential and character over hard skills.

Mike Day: The Unconquerable Navy SEAL

Mike Day, a long-serving US Navy SEAL, survived a lethal terrorist attack during a mission to capture an al-Qaeda leader in Iraq. In 2007, four terrorists opened fire on Day, and he shot back and killed two terrorists before an enemy grenade knocked him off his feet. Day was shot 27 times, with 16 bullets striking him. Despite being rendered unconscious, Day regained consciousness and managed to shoot and kill the remaining terrorists who were pinning down his platoon. Eventually, Day made his way to safety before returning to active duty after a four-month recovery period. Embodying the SEAL ethos of resilience, toughness, and determination, Day went on to become the head of a SEAL advanced training group. The USSOCOM is composed of various US Special Forces, including the SEALs as part of its component. The members of all USSOCOM organizations are commonly referred to as operators.

Winning the War for Talent in the Corporate World

US Special Operations’ methods of recruiting, targeting and managing talented individuals can serve as a model for any organization looking to enhance its workforce acquisition and management strategy. Mike Day’s extraordinary journey is just one of thousands of tales of exceptional individuals in special forces. The competition for talent is fierce, making it crucial to adopt successful tactics for filling ranks. The special operations community’s secret weapon, the key to its dominance, is its people. Perceptive HR personnel seek guidance from elite military units, and the exhaustive entry processes quickly uncover shortcomings, so only the finest candidates are selected.

The Power of Character

The US military, particularly the USSOCOM, believes that character is the most crucial attribute for success in special operations. They suggest that businesses and organizations prioritize hiring for character over track records or hard skills. Navy SEAL Commander Rich Diviney advises recruiters to seek out those with deeply-rooted qualities of duty, resilience, and adaptability, rather than those with Ivy League diplomas or sales records. Character fuels success in the face of uncertainty and challenges, making it the key to high-performing teams. Hire for potential and character, and train in required skills, and you’ll have the talent to succeed.

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