Although most people think of coaching as getting the most out of your players—and yes, that is perhaps most important—it is more than that. It also means getting the right players, getting rid of the wrong ones and being certain the ones you have are playing the right position.
We’ve talked about getting the right people and moving out the wrong ones in an earlier edition here, so let’s focus on that last one, playing the right position. More than one losing coach has paid dearly for having the right players, but having them deployed in the wrong positions.
Think through your roster of valued employees. What are their strengths? More important, what are their potentials? Get your supervisors together and have them review their people. Maybe there is a quality person in production who should be in customer service, or vice-versa. You may have someone with sales skills (along with the requisite ambition and work ethic) currently employed in another department. In a tight economy people often hire in based on available positions, not what they are best at doing. Furthermore, some of our people may not realize their own potential.
You may have some holes in your company that can be filled by current personnel. It’s worth a try. I once spotted a young man with leadership potential driving a forklift truck. We groomed him for supervision and he quickly became a long-term key manager in the printing company.
Although we can separate these dimensions rather neatly on paper, they are inseparable in the real world. They are interactive—synergistic. The whole of these three in combination far exceeds the sum of their parts.
A team has to have the right mindset to perform on the scoreboard (working the numbers), while being coached to victory. It all happens at once.
So it goes in business. You have to be mentally right, have the numbers in the frontal lobe at all times, and forge a team of employees together, guiding them to success.
Master your business by mastering these three dimensions. Apply them to your situation. I don’t need to tell you that every business is different, and every struggling business faces unique challenges.
I will, however, tell you this. In my professional consulting experience, businesses have a lot more in common than may appear on the surface. I have worked in businesses ranging in volume from under $1 million to more than $100 million, and I have yet to enter a business in which I was not pretty clear as to what its issues were by lunch time. That is not a boast. It is simply a way of saying that there are principles for success and principles for failure. And just as some coaches can turn almost any team into a winner because they understand the principles undergirding success, a business leader can do the same by applying the correct principles to his or her situation.