Are You Experiencing Leadership Team Problems?
As business owners and top level executives, our job is often to deal with the hard truths of an operation. One of the hardest of all truths comes when a member of a leadership team is struggling with their responsibilities in a way that negatively impacts the rest of the organization.
To make matters worse, dealing with high level personnel issues comes with its own bag of frustrations and unique problems as often the team member is a trusted or long-standing employee or even a close friend.
Ideally, that team member is simply not meeting the numbers they know they are responsible for meeting. This, at least, makes the problem one that can easily be identified. More often, though ,the problem is manifesting itself more subtly.
The team member may be arguing with others, resisting new changes in the organization, or simply never going that extra mile that a company needs to thrive.
When it gets worse…
Problems like this rarely go away. If your team is extremely lucky, the problem will only prevent the company from meeting its growth projections. More likely this employee will bring your operation to a grinding halt.
That is when the worst truths have to get dealt with. You may already asking yourself some of the hardest questions a leader has to ask such as:
- is my leadership team capable of doing their jobs,
- how am I going to keep this person in line, or
- do I need to fire this person?
If you are like me, that last option is one of the most dreaded thoughts you can have. After all, that person wouldn’t be sitting in the chair, if I didn’t trust and like them. I know that, if it comes to that, it would wreak havoc on not just me, but the whole leadership team as well, because losing someone from that high up in your company can be devastating to both morale and the day to day operations of a medium sized business.
How to end your leadership team problems
Luckily, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® has several tools that can help. Just like with all other problems, the first step is identifying exactly what is wrong so that we don’t have to use the nuclear option of firing someone.
Without taking the time to determine exactly why this person isn’t working out, it can be all to easy to jump to the conclusion that so-and-so is a bad employee. Most people (again, most) aren’t bad, they are just missing one of the key elements of being great at their job.
They have to Get it, Want it, and Have the Capacity to do it. In an EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) world we call that GWC™ and it is a core aspect of making sure you have the Right People in the Right Seats™.
So what does it mean to Get it, Want it, and Have the Capacity to do it?
Getting it means that the person understands the role. Their brain is just wired the right way to understand what is required of them and how that should be achieved. Another way of thinking about Getting It is, “would this person know what to do, if they were simply left to do it with no guidance.”
If the answer is yes, then they Get It. If not, you might have a team member who just plain doesn’t understand the job in the way they need to.
Sometimes, you can simply explain the job better, define the role more completely so that this person can start to Get It. A great tool for doing so is the Accountability Chart™.
Other times, though, the person is just never going to get it. You could explain it all day long and their neurons just wouldn’t fire off in the way you need them to. In this case, you have a problem that can’t be solved without some kind of change.
That isn’t always a bad thing, though! Not Getting It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it definitely doesn’t make this person a bad employee; it just means that this isn’t the seat they need to be in. It’s like having a world class writer as an accountant.
Try as they might, their brain isn’t wired to think in that way.
Not Wanting It is a lot easier to spot that Getting It. If someone wants a job, they work hard for it and appreciate it. They wake up early, thinking about the job. They enjoy doing what they do.They speak with positivity and they bring a good attitude every day.
Conversely, if someone doesn’t Want It, they become hard to work with very fast. You can see the drag in their step and the lowered quality of their work. They may know exactly how to do their job, but, if it isn’t what they want to be doing, they won’t ever do it to the standards your company deserves.
If someone doesn’t Want It, there is little that you (or really anyone else) can do to change that fact.
Not Wanting It can be something that builds over time as an employee’s personal desired change, and often a change of responsibilities is exactly what that person needs to be back on top of the world.
Have the Capacity to Do It
A lot of people new to EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) make the mistake of equating Having the Capacity with “knowing how to do it today.” That simply isn’t the case. A better way to think about this is “could they be capable of doing this job in the future.”
A good example of this is my wife’s purse. She has this enormous purse, and every time I look at it I think, “that purse could hold half a million dollars.”
Now, as I am sure you guessed, the purse doesn’t have half a million in it (yet), but it does Have the Capacity to Do it.
Having the Capacity to Do a job can be a complex matter. A person needs to have the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, knowledge and time capacity to do that job. If any one of those is lacking, they don’t Have the Capacity.
If someone doesn’t Have the Capacity to Do It, the leadership team has to ask themselves some hard questions.
While Getting It and Wanting It are absolutely necessary, Having the Capacity can be learned or coached, if the company is willing to invest in this person.
How does all of this help you with your original problem?
The short answer is Data. When you landed on this page, all you knew was that you had a member of your leadership team that wasn’t working out.
This is a highly personal and muddy problem, one that is very hard to solve.
Now, though, you can sit down with the GWC tool and determine exactly what part of the GWC they are struggling with. That’s not a murky problem anymore, and it certainly isn’t one tied into personal opinions.
Either person meets the criteria of GWC or they don’t. There is no middle ground.
If they don’t Get It, they can be taught. If they don’t Want It, they can be moved to a place they are happier. If they don’t Have the Capacity to Do It, changes to their responsibilities can be made or the company can help them to gain the Capacity.
Need More Help?
Are you experiencing difficulty with Core Values or with the People Analyzer? If you are, let us know what they are by commenting on this post.
We want to help.
Contact US for a free consultation phone call on what the Entrepreneurial Operating System can do for you.
Whittle & Partners is a consulting group that provides EOS Implementation in the United States and beyond. We offer in-person and online solutions to fit your business and schedule.Visit our about us page to learn how and why we love bringing Dallas Traction.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.