Leaders will say their biggest priority is finding and retaining great talent.

They also complain about big companies coming in and taking all the good talent, the effect of government disincentives to work, a pervading culture of entitlement, and on and on.

These can all be factors affecting your ability to build a great team, but these are only factors. Just like being an investor, you can’t control the entire market, but you can control what you do within that market.

You have agency. You have choice. You can take action. Want a great team? You can’t be passive and hope it will happen.

The truth is harsh: you have the team you earn.

For those who remember Seinfeld, think George Costanza’s line: It’s not you, it’s me.

You are the biggest reason you don’t have the team you want.

I say this with love and respect, but I 100% believe it.

You control much of what really matters to quality employees: culture, nature of the work, ability to grow and develop valuable skills, tools to get the job done, support, vision, and camaraderie.

Compensation is a part of the puzzle, but it is only a part.

Every leader has a BIG impact on the ability to attract and retain great people. You are an enormous part of the employee experience, for good or for bad.

Want the best people? Then do everything you can to make the opportunity to work with you something that people value.

You would not expect to sell very much of a mediocre product would you? Exceptional products are valued. Make your team someplace people want to be.

And then SELL the product. If you are convinced it is a great opportunity, then say so. Talk about why this opportunity will help a candidate make THEIR dreams come true, not just yours.

Organizations with the best teams do the best work and get the best results. This can be you. But you have to choose and you have to commit.