The other night my wife and I returned to one of our favorite restaurants that we visited in more than six months. Neighborhood rumors suggested the place might be up for sale. The last few times we had eaten at the restaurant, the food had gone downhill big-time. What a shame! They had always offered an innovative, eclectic menu at reasonable prices in a comfortable setting. At the time, we noticed that weren’t enjoying the food and the service had turned lackluster. We didn’t know why things had changed and we didn’t obsess on it- we simply stopped eating there.
But on this particular night, I suggested to my wife that we go back and give it another try since I was in the mood for one of their specialties -if they still had it on the menu. What a pleasant surprise! The food that night was really exceptional and so was the service. As we were paying our bill, the manager came over to ask whether or not we had enjoyed our dinner? We told him that the meal was absolutely delicious. He remarked that he hadn’t seen us in a while and that he was glad we were back. We told him that we had been away for six months because we had stopped enjoying the experience there. “What changed?” I asked, “What made tonight’s meal so fantastic?” His reply was three words: “Harry is back!”
Harry was the former chef. Clearly Harry was a Houdini who could make customers reappear! How could one person make such a huge difference in such a small business? At some point, Harry had left the establishment and someone new was recruited as chef. The quality of the food suffered and so did the service. As head chef, Harry not only created the menu and cooked the food but he set the pace for the entire restaurant making sure the customers were delighted with the food and the service as well.
With Harry gone, the restaurant changed…at first very slowly and then all at once customers, just like us, stopped showing up. Perhaps, management realized this was going on or they simply ignored it or they didn’t understand what was causing the loss of business. Most entrepreneurs are great with hindsight but are not so strong when it comes to predicting the future and anticipating the impact of their actions.
We were regulars at this particular restaurant but no one bothered to tell us that there was a new chef and or that they were going through changes. No one asked our opinions as to whether the new menu was better and preferred or was it just being tolerated? And so, we voted with our wallets and simply stopped frequenting the restaurant as did many of our other friends and neighbors. But now Harry was back and the quality was up and the service was back to what we expected. All because of one employee!
Entrepreneurial companies often fail to recognize or they take for granted the contribution a single individual can make. As an EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer, I am always telling leadership teams that nothing is more important than having the right people in the right seats (RP/RS). And that absolutely nothing has a greater positive or negative impact on an organization than a smart “people” decision. Maybe it is time for someone to go or perhaps it is time to bring someone in to fill an empty seat. The right people share your core values and if they really want the position and have the capacity (time and ability) that to do it then you have the right person! We call this GWC- Get it, Want it and Capacity to do it.
Ask yourself: Do you have the right people in your organization? Do they share your core values? This can be achieved relatively easily- if you have established your core values. If not, then it is time to get started by bringing your leadership team together to determine your core values.
Ask each member to think of two or three people in the organization that they greatly admire and respect. If they can’t identify someone in the organization, then they must expand their thinking to other people in their lives. Then, have them identify the attributes of that person or those people. What is it that they really like and respect about the individual? You will hear words like: funny, compassionate, enthusiastic, professional, detailed, determined and so on. Create a master list with everyone’s input and then through discussion and debate, whittle the list down to no more than seven core values.
Using a spreadsheet or a grid, place these remaining values across the top row, each on top of a column. List a prospective employee’s name on the left side of the spreadsheet, then moving to the right, go through each core value. Place a “+” sign, a “–“or a “+/-“in the appropriate cell beneath each core value. In this way, you can quickly rate an individual and see whether or not they share your core values. You can do this for your employees or for any new candidates.
Even if you have someone who shares your core values it is equally important to make sure they Get it, Want it and have the Capacity to do it (GWC). You can add GWC on the right side of the row with your core values putting each letter in its own column. In this case, you score the cells with either a “yes” or a “no.” The right candidate or employee will be three “yesses.” A “no” is a cause for concern.
This is a great way to analyze people in your organization as well as potential candidates. It works! It doesn’t tell you about someone’s intelligence, experience or other strengths and weaknesses. But it clearly tells you whether or not they fit in with your organization. It distinguishes between the right people and the wrong people for your company. Now that you have the right people, you need to make sure they’re in the right seats… But that’s another discussion.