For The Best Teams, Put Aces In Their Places

May 22, 2016
Paul LaRue

You have an organization of 100 people filling 100 positions.

Are they the best people for those jobs? Or better yet, are they the best jobs for your people?

What if those people were evaluated to find their best skills, then matched with the roles best suited for them? How much more effective would they be? More engaged? More committed?

Consider how the fortunes of these organizations turned out after they put these people into roles more suited for them:

  • Kat Cole, CEO of Cinnabon, who was recruited internally from waitress to Corporate Trainer at Hooters
  • Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees baseball team, a decent pitcher turned Hall Of Fame Slugger
  • Darwin Smith, Kimberly-Clark’s lawyer who was made CEO took the company into the best growth period in their history
  • Phil Collins of the band Genesis, drummer who was given a chance to be their new lead vocalist and took the band to new success

Think for a moment about your current needs and who you have filling those roles. Then ask the following questions:

  • What skill sets does this person have?
  • What skill sets are needed in roles in the organization?
  • Where would this person best fit in – their current role or another?
  • Where should her/his talent take them in their career with our company?

Each of your people are “aces” in one role or another – they each have a unique talent they bring to the team that matches a need and role within that team. Your job is to find what each person’s strong skills are and place the needs and opportunities within the organization in their hands.

If you have 100 people all working in adequate roles suited for them, you can expect a certain level of success. But when you put your “aces in their places,” you catapult the performance of your team and your organization to unexpected levels. That’s why sports teams shuffle players from offense to special teams and industries such as restaurants and factories cross-train. When you can have your best people in your best spots, they develop into stronger performers with more commitment. This in turn positively impacts the workplace when co-workers know their teammates can pull strongly on the rope beside them, instead of being a drag factor.

A leader who puts their “aces in their places” knows the value of their people and the vision of the company, and endeavors to bring out the best in both. The average leader fills positions based on need and experience; a savvy talent-minded leader matches skills with opportunity.

When you want to make a difference to your people, and to your customers, you’ll give them the best spots for their talents to shine.

More From Paul LaRue

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30 Days is All You Have to Make an Initial Impact

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Paul LaRue is the creator of The UPwards Leader and Instigator for Lead Change Group. His background in senior leadership, strategic planning, culture change, and people and organizational development gives him unique insight into the workings of successful organizations. Paul has given speeches and training sessions for many public and private entities and stresses the virtue of a culture that centers around core values and character in leadership.

Image courtesy of Markus Spiske/ under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. Image has been cropped. 

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