As a business leader, have you ever had an employee or associate that absolutely grates on your nerves? It’s that associate who gives you a headache as soon as he or she walks into the room. It’s that person that seems to know that they do get to you and strives to ensure that each day, their personal mission is to push you over the edge.
The impending aneurism would be a blessing right now.
For some reason, though, you don’t feel like you can part company with that person, for whatever reason. Perhaps that person is the one that seems to pay an essential role in the company, or has an incredible amount of talent. Perhaps they are a family member or friend or some other association.
There are two schools of thought that immediately come to mind.
- In the military, they were quite point blank – “Straighten up or we’ll get rid of you and find two people to take your place who can do the job better.”
- Find out what makes them tick…and wind their clock.
Option number 1 requires no investment in the person. However, you’ve got to be committed to finding the person to replace the initial pain in your behind. Many business leaders might feel that it isn’t worth the trouble and expense, and will simply continue to endure. The problem with that mentality is that the problem will continue to exist, moral and productivity will likely be reduced, and you may lose other productive stakeholders – including employees.
Option number two does require investment in the person. However, the results can be outstanding. Think about it like this – you will have difficulty putting a round peg in a square hole. No matter how much you push and pull, the fit will never be quite right.
If, on the other hand, you adjust the hole, suddenly, you have a good fit for the peg, and everyone is happy. In the same way, finding out what motivates this challenged employee, and learning how to leverage their greatest strengths can be one of the best investment you make in your company. You’ll be loving the unlovable, and find that you have great commitment and cohesiveness that you could have by trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
This could mean – just to be clear – that the peg might actually be the wrong fit for the company. In that case, you may still need to help them move on to brighter pastures. At the same time, however, they may be willing to help with the training and development process for the incumbent.
As a business leader, it is your job to make sure that the organization runs as smoothly as possible. Being extraordinary means that at times, you will have to love the unlovable. It means that you are going to have to invest in your employees. It means making that square hole fit the round peg.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.