Running a business is not as simple as it seems.
During such times, you must have a sharp vision, an open mindset, and decisive actions to secure your sustenance.
And all of this relies on people and the organization. You need the right people, and you need a good organization.
Your AI-powered meeting assistant — Huddles
I often say to everyone, choosing people is like choosing your destiny, and employing people determines life or death.
So, how do you choose and employ people? Remember these three pieces of advice.
01-Choosing the Right People Is Far Superior to Developing Them
If you want to achieve success, no amount of training, motivation, or assessment will make a difference if you’ve chosen the wrong people.
Bradford in “Top Grading Quick Reference Guide” also states:
“Making a wrong hire takes an extra 300 hours of work. Most companies spend 25% of their effort in recruiting, but they spend 75% of their effort dealing with the consequences of the wrong hire.”
That’s right, you can’t develop or motivate someone who lacks ambition, or someone who isn’t willing to improve themselves.
Choosing the right person is like choosing a partner. You wouldn’t just pick anyone and try to build a relationship over time. Feelings can’t be cultivated; they develop through shared compatibility and mutual enthusiasm.
Similarly, as a manager, choosing the right person means getting the job done and building a successful career. When both sides are not a good match, it results in inefficiency and waste.
Parkinson’s Law mentions that no company can maintain healthy growth without hiring the right talent.
So, how can you find the right person? It’s quite simple, but you must follow two crucial steps:
First, recognize from the ground up how important hiring is and take immediate action. Many managers complain about a lack of talent every day, and after a year or more of complaining, they’re still without the right people. I often ask them, “How many resumes do you review each day? How many people have you interviewed?” If the answer is nothing, then it’s no wonder they’re facing a talent shortage.
Second, create a talent profile and establish a competency model for each position. What kind of talent does the job require? You need to develop a talent profile based on the competency model.
The talent profile consists of both visible and invisible traits, where visible traits generally include knowledge and skills.
Invisible traits refer to potential, such as values, inner drive, and personality traits.
You must consider both aspects. The visible traits determine whether the person can do the job well, while the invisible traits determine if they can perform well in the long run and stay with the company.
Remember, the biggest waste in management is hiring the wrong person. If the person isn’t right, you won’t achieve the desired results.
The success of a small company depends on who they hire.
The success of a large company depends on who they let go!”
02-Using the Right People Requires Placing Them in the Right Positions
Once you have the right people, it’s essential to use them effectively.
Behind every business issue lies a personnel problem, and successful companies are built on talent strategy.
From my own experience, every breakthrough a company achieves is because they used the right people. Every hiccup, bottleneck, or even unrecoverable mistake occurs due to the misuse of talent.
The essence of management is about using people to achieve success, helping them grow, relying on them to deliver results.
Knowing how to use people means placing the right person in the right position.
Not knowing how to use people leads to a mismatch between people and their roles, causing frustration and inefficiency, both for the individuals and the company as a whole.
This requires us, when employing someone, to take responsibility for them, which means delegating authority without shirking responsibility.
If you assign someone a task, you need to trust them and give them the power and resources they need to complete it. If they make a mistake, you shouldn’t shift all the blame onto them; you should take some responsibility as well.
Never resort to blaming subordinates when issues arise, and never steal credit from them. After a few times of doing this, you’ll find it difficult to find anyone willing to work with you.
Additionally, we must learn when to delegate and empower our team members. If someone on your team can handle a task competently, delegate it to them. This is not only about developing your people but also about the growth of the team.
Many people in management positions lack a managerial mindset and tend to micromanage because they fear that their subordinates won’t perform well. Consequently, they end up doing everything themselves.
If you find that you’re always meddling in every task, it may indicate that you haven’t placed the right person in the appropriate role or that you haven’t effectively utilized their skills. This leads to unnecessary strain and stress, even if it may seem like diligence. In reality, it reflects excessive effort with inadequate strategic thinking.”
03-Using People Effectively: Avoiding Three Common Pitfalls
Selecting the right people and placing them in the right positions is crucial. However, there are common pitfalls to avoid when using people effectively. Otherwise, you won’t truly master the art of employing talent.
Pitfall 1: Believing in “No Doubt for Users and Doubt for Non-Users”
This is a deep-rooted misconception. Even the most exceptional individuals have their shortcomings, and mistrust can be beneficial. Believing that “No Doubt for Users and Doubt for Non-Users” for every individual implies a lack of managerial insight.
The right approach is to recognize that, when using someone, especially newcomers, it’s reasonable to assume they will have some issues, and your role is to accompany them. So, mistrust should be seen as guidance and support rather than suspicion.
At the same time, don’t hesitate to use individuals with imperfections, unless their flaws are so significant that they hinder their effectiveness in a specific role. When employing someone, focus on their strengths. If you can’t see their strengths, you won’t be able to utilize anyone in your company, and you’ll be trapped in mutual suspicion.
Pitfall 2: “Expand Usage, Exhaust Usage, and Fear Usage”
Expanding usage means stretching an individual’s responsibilities beyond their capabilities, pushing them to do more than they can handle. For example, promoting someone to a higher position when they can’t even perform well in their current role. If their capabilities aren’t significantly improved within a year or two, it’s almost certain they’ll encounter significant problems.
Exhausting usage refers to squeezing everything out of an individual without giving back. Many managers only seek immediate results and exploit their team members’ potential without offering support or nurturing growth. If you continually interfere, it may indicate that you haven’t placed the right person in the right position or failed to leverage their skills effectively. This leads to unnecessary stress and inefficiency.
Fear usage means failing to empower individuals when they’re suitable for a particular role. Some managers fall into the trap of micromanaging and withhold responsibilities, fearing their subordinates won’t perform well. This is a limiting mindset. To use people effectively, evaluate them with a developmental perspective.
Pitfall 3: Assuming They Are Naturally Good at Everything
Often, when employing someone, we tend to assume they are “omnipotent” and good at everything. We promote a stellar salesperson to sales manager and then to regional director, assuming they will excel at each level. This is a major misconception.
In reality, the skills and abilities required change significantly with each role, creating a gap. If we promote someone without addressing this gap, both the individual and the team will face challenges.
Instead, we should focus on developing and supporting individuals, helping them bridge these gaps. A developmental perspective is essential to overcome this pitfall.
To achieve victory, you need the right people, but using them effectively is even more critical. To find the right people, selection is more important than cultivation. To use people effectively, you must place them in the right positions. Additionally, avoid expanding usage beyond an individual’s capabilities, don’t exhaust their potential without support, and don’t fear empowering them. In essence, selecting and employing people is as crucial as life and death!”