I believe it was Jim Collins in the best seller Good to Great that first established the metaphor of not only getting the right people on the bus but getting them in the right seats. American small businesses waste BILLIONS a year on putting the wrong people on their busses not to mention the wrong seats.
Given the enormous costs of making bad hires I decided to write a two part series on the selection process for sales professionals and sales managers. This week’s topic will be based upon putting the right motivated people in the right place.
Let's start with this thought; if you want motivated people working for you, hire motivated people. BIG THOUGHT: You can’t motivate people, they have to motivate themselves and you can’t “train in” skills where potential doesn’t exist.
A great quote from the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek is “Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire motivated people and inspire them.” That concept alone was worth the price of the book!
My company, SalesGrowth MD, Inc. is a Lone Tree, Colorado based professional Training and Development Company that specializes in developing customer facing employees in client organizations on the skills required to succeed in areas such as sales, service, and leadership. We have a great track record of developing the skills essential to increasing sales, customer satisfaction, and employee retention but we can’t develop what isn’t there in the first place.
We work closely with our strategic partners Extended DISC North America and the Devine Group to assess our client’s sales, service, or leadership organizations prior to a training initiative to ensure we are applying the right training to the right people. The reason is simple, because sending ducks to eagle school just doesn’t work and it ends up being demotivating to both the ducks AND the eagles. Often times a predictive talent assessment can identify where the ducks in one job role have the potential to become eagles in another.
In the ground breaking book First Break all the Rules authors Buckingham and Coffman conducted extensive research to learn what drives share value in publically traded companies. In the appendix of the book you will find a graph that identifies the three root elements of driving value: having the right people, in the right place, with the right managers.
I would never advocate that an assessment such as those from DISC or Devine should be your primary tool in the selection process. They are however an invaluable tool that should be near the front end of any hiring process.
Hiring and training to "eagle" potential while re-deploying or de-selecting the "duck’s" will do wonders for company morale and also reduce costly turnover. It will also do wonders for business growth and profitability!