“Get the right people on the bus, in the right seats.”
– Dr Jim Collins.
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins promoted the concept that puts the “who” first before the “what.” The “who” comprises the people who will drive the “what”, which is the vision. If you assemble the wrong set of people to pursue a great vision, then you are heading for surprises! This is the problem we have in many settings in our society today. We have the wrong people in strategic positions.
The wrong people in the right places can’t fix anything. They may keep going in cycles. The rule is: Put square peg in square hole, and round peg in round hole. This rule is not changing today. If you fix the people, you fix the problem. This is what I believe.
We need the right people in our teams this period more than ever. The pandemic has dealt with a lot of organisations and individuals. The way out is assembling the right individuals with the right capabilities to get this done. There’s no shortcut to this.
In Succeeding With Your Spouse, the 2020 book I co-authored with my wife, one of the subtopics says “Your Team Matters.” I talked about the importance of getting the right people in your team. You can’t pursue your vision with the wrong people, unless you are a magician! The wrong people know how to rock a boat.
The rule is: Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus; then get the right people in the right seats on the bus. In business, there is no sentiment about this strategy.
When I use the expression, “quality people”, I don’t mean to discredit anyone. Every creation of God is outstanding because we carry the image of God in us. However, quality people, in this context, are people who decide daily to make a difference. They are people who are willing to go the extra mile to add value everywhere they are. They are teachable. They are hard working. They are smart people. They are go-to people. They are good team players.
Quality people are outstanding people. You know them by the results they bring to the table. They are people who will design the right strategies needed this period. They don’t just talk about winning strategies; they take actions, too.
In my over 23 years’ career experience, I have seen a lot of personality types. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I have seen folks who are great achievers. These folks have the ability to revive a dying organisation. I have also seen people who can pull any good thing down. This set of individuals have the expertise to bring down any thriving organisation!
People matter. Your team matters. Who is in your team? Take your time and answer this simple question. The answer to this question may not be as simple as the question seems.
As an entrepreneur, as a manager, who is in your team? Just ponder on this for a while.
Post-COVID professional landscape
I developed a training model this period, and I said in one of the slides that there will be three types of professionals in the post-COVID marketplace. These are:
- The participators
- The spectators
- The confused
The participators are the people who will make things happen. They will go out and fix things without giving excuses. They are result-oriented. The spectators will watch the participators; just the way people watch football players in the stadium!
The spectators are the folks who will wonder how things happen. Their problem is “the how”. They may have the ability to get things done, but they lack the right attitude to begin; therefore they get stuck wandering in the land of HOW! They just lack the courage to start, so they end up watching the participators. The spectators will wake up from their slumbers any day they decide to take the bold step to begin. They already have the qualities that will make them succeed; so if they begin, they will do well.
The confused are the worst of the categories! These people are the ones who will continue to wonder “the why” of things in the wrong way. They don’t question the “why” because they want to challenge the status quo; rather, they question because they doubt that people could do great things in difficult situations. They imagine why people meet their targets, even in this pandemic era.
The confused professionals are folks who kept their minds on lockdown during the period of lockdown. These folks refused to add any form of value to themselves. They just wait for the next unproductive day. These guys still think we are on lockdown this day and refuse to move on! The solution to this category of people is self-discovery. They need to rediscover themselves. This will help them to define their purposes in life.
As a manager, your duty is to get the right people on board. Your duty is to equip your team to ensure they continue to be up to date. You do this by training and retraining them. You can’t go wrong by building capabilities in your people.
Now, if you are an employee who is in the category of the spectator or the confused, my counsel is that you take action now. Take the right actions today. My reason is simple: Employers may not continue to carry unnecessary baggage! They will drop excess load when it’s time for appraisal. Please don’t be counted as excess luggage. Do something fast to get to the good books of your organization. You do this by recording outstanding performance, not by manufacturing the best excuses. Excuses don’t score goals. Quit excuses!