Where’s the fire?

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The population of our workplace should not mirror the population outside the organization.

Relax, I’m not referring to diversity. I’m talking about performance.

My wife was called into her boss’s office years ago and told that she needed to start doing “C” work to fit in. Her “A” work was making others look bad. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t know the players.

Maybe we can grade on a curve in school and maybe in life in general. But NOT at your championship organization.

It’s unacceptable!

Of course, not everyone in your team’s population is the highest of performers. I think the misconception is that if everyone can’t be categorized in that consistent high performer bucket than we must have a full distribution on the scale. No. Let’s break it down.

Here’s the key. Everyone needs to be on the path and growing to the consistent high performer category. Or they can’t work here.

This leaves room for the reality of mistakes, failures, bone-headed moves, and lack of experience. The analysis has to consider why these mistakes happened.

Aggressive mistakes are okay. They provide an opportunity to teach.

There is no room, however, for the person biding their time until retirement. There’s no room for the person looking for their next opportunity. There’s no room for the person who just needs a job. Sorry.

All of the examples in the paragraph above represent people who don’t love what they’re doing when they’re doing it. It’s a mindset. It’s about being present.

You’ve no doubt read articles about ‘doing what you love and loving what you do.’ These articles usually focus on choosing a career, or promote starting your own business. That’s not what I’m talking about.

Some people love the most mundane daily chores like washing dishes or shoveling snow. Some people love what they are doing no matter what it is.

That’s who we’re looking for. You see, the person whose passion is being a sculptor, but they need to feed their family…so they’re working on your team, can be a consistent high performer.

If that person took a survey about their passion they would talk about sculpting. They likely wouldn’t mention their ‘real’ job.

The real issue is if they love what they’re doing now. If they are passionate about what they are doing now. Passionate about their job as a significant part of their life.

In fact the passion for their art informs their performance at work.

If you recall the article from a couple weeks ago about Decisions vs. Choices, this person has made a decision to be passionate. This is what allows them to be a high performer, no matter the level of the job. These are the people we need for a championship team.

To do this week: Review your team. Who is passionate? Who isn’t? Determine how to get to a 100% high performer potential team. Can you create awareness for this subtlety and turn some light bulbs on by discussing this concept?

Let me know how it’s going. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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» Leadership » Where’s the fire?
On March 22, 2017
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