It’s early on a clear Monday morning talking over coffee with a client. I’m listening to a conversation between the executive and her director about one of the manager’s new salespeople. The conversation is neither positive nor flattering. It sounds something like this, “… At 42 years of age, Bill should know better. Bill is always saying something stupid or inappropriate…. and the guy just doesn’t get it! To make matters even worse, he manages to show up dressed like he’s going to a cocktail hour instead of going to a client meeting. Honestly, I think we just made a bad hire – and now we have to figure out how to get him out of the organization.” All of Bill’s flaws were laid out and then some.
So I asked a couple of quick questions:
· How clear is Bill about what you’re looking for and expect in those areas?
· What have you done specifically to ensure he does, in fact, know what to do and more importantly, exactly how to do it. ?
· What specific coaching have you given Bill to help him be successful in his role?
· How have you demonstrated what success looks like so that he sees good examples of what you’re after?
My view: Teams and individuals don’t perform for the following 8 reasons:
1. The team leader’s expectations and goals are unclear or unattainable or both.
2. The team/individual lacks the skills to achieve acceptable results.
3. The team/individual has the skills but lacks the motivation/attitude/and will.
4. The team/individual lacks the tools, and resources to do the job.
5. The team/individual lacks the commitment or work ethic to get the job done.
6. The team/individual doesn’t understand the company’s priorities.
7. The team leader does a poor job of transferring skills.
8. The team leader does a poor job of motivating her team and/or individual contributors.
Experience has shown me that most managers expect to hire good people and then assume that they know what to do and how to do it. The truth is that’s rarely the case. Even very experienced and very successful people need to be very clear about what you want and expect and exactly “what success looks like” behaviorally from your point of view.
Otherwise, how can you expect them to deliver the level of performance you want?
Dennis Klemp is the CEO of St. Louis based Vision2Results Consulting focused on delivering customer acquisition and retention processes, tools, and strategies to help leaders consistently execute Coaching Fundamentals that improve the team and individual results. Dennis can be reached for coaching or consultation at 314-517-8750 or emailed at Results@DennisKlemp.com.