Molly Fletcher: Connections, Not Conversations

A chat with Molly Fletcher at SHRM Talent Management Conference & Exposition

By Andrew Morton Apr 28, 2017
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Renowned sports agent, CEO and author Molly Fletcher has been dubbed the "Female Jerry Maguire," because her passion for her clients is reminiscent of Tom Cruise's famous movie character. Yet, after having had a chance to have a conversation with her at the SHRM Talent Management Conference and Exposition in Chicago, I can't help but think that Jerry should be known as the "Male Molly Fletcher." 

I sat down with Fletcher after her keynote session and asked her to share some of the lessons she'd learned after more than 20 years navigating the high-stakes, personality-driven world of sports and sports agents, starting the Molly Fletcher Company, and balancing life as an author, CEO, mom, wife and more.  Here's what she had to say.

Knowing Their 'Why'

Many of you in the talent management and acquisition space know how crucial it is to understand the candidates you're trying to hire or place in a client's organization. Fletcher believes this starts at the most basic level by asking people what drives them and why. Knowing what their "why" is creates a connection, rather than just starting a conversation. 

Tough Conversations Build Real Relationships

So much of what recruiters and HR professionals do is contingent on having tough conversations that help set realistic expectations. Fletcher says she didn't have the courage to ask those tough questions when she became a sports agent, but over time she realized that asking hard questions up front and setting expectations saves everyone time and creates real, not "transactional" relationships. 

 

Saying 'No' is a way to say 'Yes'

When I asked Fletcher to explain how she balances managing her family, running her own company, and being an author and motivational speaker, she offered two pieces of advice: First, say "no" in order to say "yes" to something more important.  Second, and perhaps most importantly, be "gentle on ourselves" when we don't quite get that balance right. 

 

In 1993, Fletcher arrived in Atlanta with little money, a temporary place to live and no experience in the field of sports representation. She had been a highly accomplished collegiate athlete, but she wasn't on campus anymore, and she had to do what she did best outside of sports: make connections. Nearly 25 years later she's parlayed that ability to create genuine relationships into her life's work and it's clear to see that her passion and pension for connecting hasn't subsided one bit.     

Andrew Morton is SHRM's director of social engagement.

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