For over 25 years, it’s been my pleasure to hire, develop and lead staff and managers at both startups and three Fortune 100 companies. Many lessons learned came from great mentors and from studying best practices. Nearly as many were learned the hard way. Over the next few blogs, we’ll discuss some of those lessons.
As a leader in your organization, there are many key variables and resources to manage. The most challenging and valuable one is your people. If you are not effective at the building, developing, and leading your team, your organization will not be successful and your goals will not be achieved. Remember, it’s not what you can do personally, it’s what you can accomplish through others.
“Getting the right people on the bus”
In Jim Collins’ “Good to Great”, He speaks about the necessity of getting the right people on the bus. What does that really mean? It means understanding three things: (1) Soft Skills Needed Beyond the Basic Requirements of the job, (2) the Culture of Your Company, and (3) the Personality, Style, and Capabilities of the job candidate.
Should the new hire be more creative or more analytical? Should they be a Subject Matter Expert or more of a generalist? What work style would be a good fit?
Once you get the right “person on the bus “, the next step is to ensure that you have the “right person in the right seat”. After they have settled into their role for a few months, not only should their performance be evaluated, but you must also begin to determine if they are “in the right seat”. You can make this assessment by asking good questions. Examples are: is this person the best fit for this team or department? Could he or she be more effective in another department or on another team? How is the working relationship with their Manager? Based on the needs and goals of the company, can their skill set be more effective elsewhere? How and where can you Better leverage their strengths and unique abilities?
It’s vital that you gain a deeper understanding of both your company’s needs and the people you are considering. Once THEY’RE ON THE TEAM, you owe it to them to put them in a position where their skills and talents are best utilized. This is a Win-Win for both the team member and the company.
Can you define your workplace culture? Some places are fast-paced and others are more laid-back. Some are relatively formal, while others may resemble a college fraternity or sorority house. Whatever your company culture is, make the best effort to ensure your prospective employee will be a fit. There is a plethora of personality assessment tools that can help you make that determination.
Talents and Workstyles
Assessments also are a valuable tool to ascertain an individual’s Strengths, work style, capabilities, etc. For example, understanding an individual’s work style in advance can help you match them with the work style of their perspective Manager and/or team. This is equally important as testing a Developer by asking them to write some code.
We’ll be back in two weeks with more strategies to help identify and support the people who will help you continue to make your company a success.
G. Deon Bradley is a nationally Certified Business and Executive Leadership Coach and Partner on Demand with Winner Partners Executive search. He specializes in working with senior managers and C -level Executives around issues of leadership, retained search, and Succession Planning.
You can share your comments or reach him at [email protected].
Deon is also the Founder of Bradley Coaching & Consulting (www.bradleycoaching.com)