Does your leadership team get caught up in “people issues” – those discussions about employee problems that eat up valuable meeting time without really accomplishing anything? People problems are a huge drain on your business, both in the lost time discussing these challenges and in the lost business opportunities that result when you don’t have the right people doing the jobs they’re meant to do.
The rise of companies like online shoe retailer Zappos has popularized core values and culture as a solution to a company’s people problems. However, focusing on culture isn’t a catch-all solution. No matter how much time a leadership team spends on developing and communicating its culture or vision, it doesn’t do much good if it doesn’t have the people who are willing and able to execute it.
One powerful solution, propagated by Jim Collins in his best-selling book Good to Great, emphasizes getting the “right people in the right seats,” which means matching your team members with the positions that will leverage their best qualities and allow them to thrive. While this sounds simple enough, most companies don’t operate this way. In fact, many leaders and managers hold onto the wrong people – or let good people languish in positions that don’t complement their unique abilities.
For your business to reach the next level, you need people on your team who are able to take the ball and run with it. You need people who are confident in their ability to deliver the goods, to get results. This happens when you’ve matched the right people to the right seats. And when everyone on your team is in the right seat, you’ve got a foundation for a great business.
To match team members and seats, we use a simple yet powerful test that I call GWC: When someone is in the right seat, we say that they “get it, want it and have the capacity to do it.”
Here’s what each of these criteria looks like:
Get It – When it comes to their role, the company culture and the systems that are in place, people either “get it” or they don’t. Although not everyone gets it, there are plenty of people out there who do. Don’t waste your time on the people who don’t.
Want It – When someone genuinely likes his or her job, it shows. He or she takes the time to understand the role, embraces the responsibilities of the position and accepts fair compensation to execute it. If, for example, you find yourself having to beg someone to take a job, you’re going to end up with a person who doesn’t genuinely want it. You’ll be better off looking for another candidate.