Competencies Required to Successfully Lead Others

4 Minutes Read

Episode 87

William Schirmer is an experienced executive and HR leader with 23 years of experience in the field.

He has worked in both national and international companies in the USA and Europe and has built numerous leadership development and talent management programs along the way.

William’s helped many people address personal fulfillment, professional development, performance, communication, and relationships. Today, he treats us to some valuable insights on the topics of leadership, talent management, onboarding and retention, so you’re encouraged to tune in! 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full Episode:

  1. Find out why talent management can make or break a business.
  2. We discuss why behavioral interviewing is an art, not a science.
  3. Learn about the importance of the onboarding process.

Episode Highlights

Who is William Schirmer

    • William is an experienced HR leader with 23 years of experience.
    • He has worked for national and international companies in the USA and Europe.
    • William has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral and Political Science and a Master’s Degrees in Social Sciences and Human Resource Management.
    • He’s the recent author of ‘The Leadership Core: Competencies for Successfully Leading Others.’ His second book’Fulfilled: Finding Happiness and Prosperity In Your Life’ will also be out in late 2021.

His career path

    • William started as an area manager for a retailer and found that he enjoyed the people side of management, mainly how to acquire talent.
    • He had an opportunity to come on board with a consultancy in the UK that was focused on recruiting, training and retention. 
    • He spent several years working there in the UK before moving back to the USA, where he spent most of his time in corporate HR.

Talent Management

    • Much of William’s focus in HR has been in talent management.
    • He considers this to be the more strategic side of HR.
    • The ability to acquire talent, properly train and cultivate people can make or break a business.

People don’t leave jobs; they leave bosses

    • Although the perception from leaders is that it’s for monetary purposes, employees have indicated in a poll that it’s for other reasons.
    • There are many other psychological aspects that business leaders do not fully understand and don’t fully leverage.
    • Examples of these are culture, autonomy, empowerment or inclusion in decision making.

Where most leaders make mistakes

    • William says that candidate generation is an issue and interviewing and selection.
    • Many people have clung to their jobs during the pandemic and not because they particularly enjoyed it. 
    • People are going to start looking, and employers that are progressive in how they treat employees, which goes beyond money, will win the war on talent.

Interviewing is an art

    • Interviewing is an art, not a science.
    • A considerable proportion of a business’s success is determined by who you bring through the door to sit in your team.
    • Define what you’re looking for, and then build some questions around it.

Behavioral interviewing

    • Behavioral interviewing is a method that allows you to go beyond the canned responses.
    • The art is around digging deeper and peeling back the layers.
    • Peeling back those layers via domino questioning, where you follow up with another question.
    • It allows an employer to see how people think, feel and react in certain situations.

Leaders overvalue skills

    • Most leaders overvalue skills and experience while undervalue competencies and personality traits.
    • Behavioral interviewing allows you to dig deep and learn a lot about what makes someone tick.
    • You can teach skills. It’s best to look for good raw competencies that you can build around. 

Bringing in other interviewers

    • We all have biases and blind spots.
    • If you’re the sole person interviewing, you’re at the mercy of those biases regarding your hire.
    • It is unlikely that you and another interviewer will have the same biases, so having more than one person involved in the process helps remove the blind spots.

The onboarding process

    • Onboarding is one of the common challenges, even though it’s a crucial part of an individual’s employment experience.
    • Leaders work hard to generate and select candidates yet largely abandon them when they start.
    • The onboarding process needs to be structured, organized and well communicated.
    • If you invest the time and energy in the onboarding process, you’re going to see a much greater payoff later.

The toxic superstar

    • William says that the culture in your team is the worst behavior that you’ll accept. 
    • It comes down to leadership integrity, and the most courageous leaders need to put the standard in a place where your performance does not exempt you from things.
    • It’s important to realize that you can continually manufacture another superstar, but you shouldn’t allow someone to poison the culture and morale of the team.

Motivating teams

    • William says it’s important not to rely on external motivators such as giving people money.
    • While many leaders think that money is the primary motivator, research shows that it’s not.
    • Leaders need to tap into internal motivators such as pride, good relationships with colleagues, autonomy, inclusion and growth, to name a few.
    • Money is not a primary way to sustainably motivate; it’s a bandaid.

How does William want to be remembered?

    • He wants to be remembered for providing a little bit more joy or happiness in the lives of others at work through his development of people and touch of humor. 

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

“There are lots of internal motivators that we have, that as a leader, if you’re perceptive you can tap into and that’s repeatable. That’s something that the competition down the road doesn’t know today, what’s going to motivate your star player to do more, and that’s key.”

“You can ask what you want. But what you really want is an understanding of how people handled past situations and what the outcome was.”

“So I think in terms of recruiting, where things fall down is absolutely at the selection process. It’s not a distraction from your day job. If you’re a leader, it is your day job to make sure that you’re still directing the right people.”


About William Schirmer

William is a senior management professional in Human Resources, having been involved with HR, talent management and learning and development functions for domestic and international firms for more than two decades. His leadership career has spanned financial services, banking, consulting, healthcare and relocations management industries.

He has spent many years helping companies manage talent more effectively, including creating and deploying leadership development programs.

William’s current book ‘The Leadership Core’ is available to purchase via the website, where ‘Fulfilled’ will also be released. ‘The Leadership Core’ is also available to pre-order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.


Connect with William



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Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.