September 24, 2012. Well, perhaps not taught us. Reminded is probably more accurate. Anyway, here is how it all went down. We were watching a seven-year old Maestronian, Mackenzie by name, during his (rocket) football beginnings. The first couple of practices were a series of drills where these tender football newbies were asked to show their stuff in a variety of skill settings: running, blocking, tackling and so on.
Why? To assess natural abilities in order to place the young players in just the right spot. It led us to ponder: What if we all arrived at college or to work and went through the same kind of rigorous screening to determine our real strengths? What if we were all placed in just the right role in the beginning? How would it impact happiness, job satisfaction, well being and peace of mind?
Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t efforts made to place people appropriately through testing, interviewing and the routine matching of qualifications to job requirements. But we wonder how well this is done across the board—and how consistently.
Not long ago, we wrote a blog post about core competencies, one of our core beliefs (We all deserve a chance to do our best.) Of course, merely having the chance to do your best won’t guarantee that you will. There are too many other variables that may affect the outcome. But getting the opportunity certainly increases the odds of performing at the top of your form.
At Maestro, we set people up for success by channeling them into tasks and roles consistent with their core competencies. Clearly, there are hard realities of asset allocation that sometimes derail our best intentions, but to the extent it is possible, we try to put people where they have the best opportunity to succeed.
It’s good for them … and good for the work because it puts a star at every position of Team Maestro. Clients are bound to be happy because their projects are more likely to be on target and completed more efficiently because they were done by a team member doing what they do best.
Our recent experience with an exceptional employee candidate drove the point home for us. She was a model of vivacious enthusiasm. Positivity filled every inch of her five foot something frame: Sunshine walking. But what she was good at—what she most enjoyed doing and was successful at—was not what we had in mind for her.
Could she have done what we wanted? Without question. Would she have been happy, fulfilled and motivated to contribute all of which she was capable? Likely not. It simply would not have been a recipe for a happy, contented and long-term employee, our goal in every hiring decision. (But rest assured: She is definitely on our radar for when our needs match her strengths.)
With the staff we have onboard, some of whom have been with us for quite some time, we are trying hard to apply the lessons of rocket football. In other words, in cases where it’s necessary, we’re working side by side with team members to help them find a way to add value that brings meaning and satisfaction to their job and life. It is so worth it because we believe with all our heart that recognizing and leveraging core competencies provides the greatest good for the greatest number.