People: Tips for Building Strengths and 'Staying in the Lane'

In previous articles, we discussed how to access and create the vision, mission, target market, and effective strategy, now we need to look at how to get everyone moving in the same direction. A big component of that is accessing if you have the right people in the right places.

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Joe Louis once said, “You need a lot of different types of people to make the world better,” the same can be said for your business. Different types of personalities and dominant strengths lend better efficiency and balance to positions and teams. Hiring the right people for your business is hard enough, getting the right person with the right attitude in the right chair is even harder. Evaluating this is a crucial part of ensuring your business becomes a smooth running organization, gaining traction, and moving forward rather than getting stuck. Employees playing to their strengths and staying in their specific roles is sometimes referred to as ‘staying in your lane’. Deviation from this can be one of the leading causes of stagnation or even chaos in an organization. So, how do you as a leader identify those with the right attitude but wrong position? Here are a few cues to be mindful of:

·         Lack of passion

·         Dwindling engagement

·         Tasks often finished quickly with high accuracy and proficiency

·         A pattern of weakness in an area

·         Frustration in the role

·         Certain tasks chronically procrastinated

·         Feedback from others that it’s not a good fit

All of these could be indicators that another position may be suitable for that employee or that perhaps their roles need to be expanded or shifted.

Once identified, this is a great opportunity to have an engaged pulse-check with the employee to listen and get feedback about their perception of their position, any underutilized talents or interests. Foster an environment of trust and allow your employee to speak frankly and listen to their feedback. Remember, you have already identified them as the right person—this is about the role. Based on this feedback, collaborate on a list of responsibilities and see if they align with the role. Finally, determine if that list suggest the role should be expanded or if the employee should be reassigned.

Another component is understanding fully the personalities and strengths of the workforce you have. There are several types of assessments that can be paid or free to use at your discretion. At Armour Martin, we prefer the Clifton Strengths Finder 2.0, which is affordable, accurate, and easy to use. There are also several other options that are free such as:

·         Myers-Briggs

·         Keirsey Temperament Sorter

·         MyPlan.com

·         Big Five

·         16personalities

·         iSeek “Clusters”

·         MyNextMove

·         MAPP Test

·         Holland Code

·         PI Behavioral Assessment

No matter what you decide, keep it the same for your organization so a common language and culture is created.

In the next few months we will be issuing a series of articles on People, Process, Metrics, and Product so keep an eye open. The People series will focus on Fostering Trust, Strengthening Teams, Effective Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Collaboration, and Performance Evaluation.

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Joey Martin

Joey is a diverse and comprehensive business professional with over a decade of experience in corporate development and entrepreneurial enterprises. His expertise lies in strategic thinking to develop, plan, implement, and manage projects to achieve desired SMART business goals. His success in this field has specifically been in leadership development of key personnel, marketing strategy, streamlining of operational efficiency, new product conceptions, and financial management.

Joey's mission is to help small business owners realize their vision by filling the gap between their individual expertise and the skill set they need to succeed. For small businesses, the owner is the hero on a journey to succeed in their vision and they need someone to believe in that vision aiding and guiding them along the way. The owner is Don Quixote, Joey is their Sancho. Whether the goal is grow, pivot, or recover the next step is attainable with skilled, targeted, and customized help.

Joey studied Business Administration at Cardinal Stritch University, has certifications from Harvard Business School, and is continuing on to his master’s degree.