Would you admit to any of the litany of excuses for why you can’t get, find or employ ‘A’ Players in your organization?
• Hope maybe Jack will improve over time. He just needs better (fill in the blank).
• I don’t want to admit a mistake to my board. (Read I don’t want to look bad).
• I hired them, I’ll live with them — they are my people, for good or for bad.
• “Fire drill” mentality around here right now means too many emergencies to change guard now. I’ll wait for a better time.
• I have no guarantee I could do better next time. (Read I don’t trust myself/HR/the department heads/ to hire right, and I am resigned about ever getting better help)
• But I LIKE Jack, he’s a really good guy.
• Maybe it’s me…(Read I don’t provide great instruction, I’m not a great communicator, I don’t know this person well enough, they need another chance, I’m too far removed from his/her actual performance so I don’t want to override decisions made by department heads, etc.)
While I have heard some version of every one of those excuses, they are probably not why you might be tolerating less than optimal performance. I assert that it is because you lack adequate feedback and/or feedback mechanisms, so that even if you wanted to, you don’t have the information from which to change horses.
That said consider the possibility that you may have people in your organization acting like ‘B’ players because that’s how they are being managed. If given sufficient challenge, they might rise to the occasion. Given a manager/leader whose values/vision they respect and admire, a vision they align with they might become ‘A’ players.
When I suggest hiring ’A’ players, I first recommend looking in that mirror. Then I recommend inviting others to hold up the mirror for you. Your people are your key leverage point to success, so this inquiry should not be put off. Shifting your priority on people could shift your other bottom line.
Ask yourself the question, “Who are you that your people would grow to their full potential through your leadership?
How do you engage your employees? How do you measure performance? Is that working? I want to hear your stories.