How Do You Get The Right People in the Right Seats On Your Bus?

December 19, 2011
Posted by Mark Penick - Franchisee, Link Staffing of Austin

This is the third article in a series of four articles designed to help you, the manager, franchise owner or leader, build a great team of people. In case you’re wondering, these articles are not written for bus drivers! The bus is a metaphor for your company, branch office or department. As leader, you know that building a great company can only happen by hiring great people. Your job is to get the right people on your bus, get the wrong people off your bus, get the right people in the right seats on your bus, then driving your bus to the right destination.

You may not be old enough to remember the T.V. show “The A-Team”, but if you are, you have to admit they were a well oiled machine! Hannibal, Face, B.A. (Mr. T), and “Howling Mad” Murdock each had a unique role on the team. They were in the right seats on the bus. Hannibal could not fly a plane like Murdock, and B.A. did not have the leadership skills of Hannibal. Each member of the A-Team complemented the others. So should it be on your corporate team. Obviously, some positions on the team require specific knowledge, skill, education and certification, such as an accountant or CFO. But for many positions, you can choose where they best fit. The task of the leader to put the right person in the right seat on the bus can be challenging and time-consuming, but very rewarding.

Here are some ideas to consider when you are trying to figure out where your great people can best serve your organization. In bus language, this means you want to know which seat on the bus they should occupy. Consider these ideas:

  1. Coach, coach, coach. Always know your talent thoroughly, and where they best fit in the organization. In retail, the success mantra is location, location, location. In leadership, the success mantra is coach, coach, coach.
  2. Conduct employee profile assessments on a regular basis. Try a variety of profile types over a range of time. There are many versions on the market, that will give you varying degrees of success indicators.
  3. Utilize one-minute goal-setting to determine if the person is succeeding in their respective position. If not, a switch of position may be in the forecast.
  4. As a general rule, put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems. Your great people will maximize the big opportunity so that the organization will generate long-term benefits.  

In our final article, we will take a look at what it takes to drive the bus to its destination. You have, to this point in time, put the right people on the bus, removed the wrong people from the bus, and put the right people in the right seats on the bus. All that is left is for you, the leader, to take the wheel and navigate your bus down the road.



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