The mistake some business leaders make is the habit of looking for saints. Whenever they want to hire people they focus on getting perfect individuals. But they forget that those who appear to be perfect sometimes end up as mediocre employees. Employ people based on their strengths not weaknesses.
Someone may be very lazy but attracts major sales for your company. Are you going to focus on laziness or his ability to make money for your company?
Your staff may prefer to work from home than coming to the office daily, but ends up as the most dependable person in your organization. Which one do you want? Do you prefer he stays in the office and generate zero result or stay at home and take your company to the next level?
One business executive in Lagos hired a young man because he came for the interview totally drenched by heavy rain. She said to herself, “If this young man can come for this interview not minding the rain, he can help to transform this company.” She offered him a cup of coffee and told him to resume tomorrow without an interview. Stop looking for perfect people, look for their strengths.
The area in which CEOs first encounter the challenge of strength is in staffing. The world class CEO fill positions and promotes on the basis of what a man can do. He does not make staffing decisions to minimize weaknesses but to maximize strength.
President Abraham Lincoln when told that General Grant, his new commander-in-chief, was found of the bottle said; “If I knew his brand, I’d send a barrel or so to some other generals.”
After a childhood on the Kentucky and Illinois frontier, Lincoln assuredly knew all about the bottle and it’s dangers. But of all the Union generals, Grant alone had proven consistently capable of planning and leading winning campaigns.
Grant’s appointment was the turning point of the Civil War. It was an effective appointment because Lincoln chose his general for his tested ability to win battles and not for his sobriety, that is, for the absence of weakness.
Lincoln learned this the hard way however. Before he chose Grant, he had appointed in succession three or four Generals whose main qualifications were their lack of major weaknesses. As a result, the North, despite it’s tremendous superiority in men and materials, has not made any headway for three long years from 1861 to 1864.
In sharp contrast, General Robert E.
Lee, in command of the Confederate forces, had staffed from strength. Every one of Lee’s Generals, from Stonewall Jackson on, was a man of obvious and monumental weaknesses. But these failings Lee considered to be irrelevant. Each of them had, however, one area of real strength, and it was this strength that Lee utilized and made effective. As a result, the well-rounded men Lincoln had appointed were beaten time and again by Lee’s single-purposed men of narrow but very great strength.
Strong people always have strong weaknesses too. Where there are peaks, there are valleys. And no one is strong in many areas. Measured against the universe of human knowledge, experience, and abilities, even the greatest genius would have to be rated a total failure.
A chief executive officer who is concerned with what a man cannot do rather than with what he can do, and who therefore tries to avoid weaknesses rather than make strength effective is a week man himself. He probably sees strength in others as a threat to himself.
Another story of General Robert E. Lee illustrates the meaning of making strength productive. One of his Generals, the story goes, had disregarded orders and had thereby completely upset Lee’s plans, and not for the first time either.
Lee, who normally controlled his temper, blew up in a towering rage. When he had simmered down, one of his aides asked respectfully, “Why don’t you relieve him of his command?” Lee, it is said, turned around in complete amazement, looked at the aide, and said, “What an absurd question, he performs.”
I will continue this teaching at the CEO Success Summit holding at Oriental hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on the 2nd February, 2019. I will be teaching on Becoming a World Class CEO.
But before then, I want you to understand that I’m not in any way celebrating weaknesses or encouraging you do evil. But I’m trying to tell business owners and leaders that they should be patient with people.
In my work as a consultant, I have seen business leaders lose fantastic talents because they couldn’t stand their weaknesses. Any employee who behaves as if he or she is perfect is probably lying to you.
Also, do not condone mediocrity. If someone is not performing, he should be trained or fired. But before that, find out the area he or she can function effectively. Maybe you did not take your time to properly assign the right position to the person.
Personally, when our consulting firm (King’s Uncommon Wisdom Limited) is employing new staff for different organizations, we do not look for perfect people. We try as much as possible to discover their strengths and assign the positions that matches their strength.
I will show you five ways to apply this strategy at the conference. It will blow your mind. In fact, after the teaching, you will start looking for ways to maximize the strengths of your staff. By doing that, your company will be filled with strengths that will definitely lead to exponential growth.
Don’t miss this conference for anything.
For more information, kindly call Godwin on 0703 268 1154 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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