Once you’ve optimized the force you apply to the strategic execution lever, you’ll need to make sure the lever itself can handle the force before you apply it too vigorously. In our leverage model, the lever’s beam represents your employees, both individually and collectively.
The best way to strengthen the beam of your organizational lever is to have the right people in the right places, armed with the skills they need to execute in the moment and get the job done. It’s up to you to strengthen each team member’s ability to execute strategy in every way possible.
1. Balance talent and hard work. Find the person with the right strengths needed to maximize the Personal Return on Investment (PROI) for each job on your team. Talent is a wonderful thing, but let’s face it: it’s useless without that American Dream, can-do attitude. Your people must consistently reach beyond their grasp in ways that benefit both themselves and the company. It’s critical to recruit and hire talented hard workers, but often effort trumps talent.
2. Spot the high-performers right away. Learn to recognize the difference between high performers and average workers at a glance, so you don’t waste time on plodders. They may be good people, but you succeed best by hitching yourself to a star.
3. Mentor newbies. Even the strongest beam may crack if it’s too green. Place new employees with experienced workers to mentor them along and show them the ropes. Invest time providing new team members with the coaching they need gain more seasoning and excel in their roles.
4. Invest in training. When you add new people to the team, make sure they get any additional training or knowledge needed to maximize their efficiency and execute more effectively. As fast as business moves, this won’t be a one-time thing, so check in with each team member occasionally to see which skills they need to hone or add.
Once your beam can handle your input force, it’s time to experiment with changing the position and height of your fulcrum, so all the elements of your leverage machine lock together into a smooth, powerful whole that produces like never before.