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A Familiar Quote

If you’re a follower of our blog, you’ve probably heard the quote “Right people, right seats” at least once. Well, there’s a third variable that we’ve recently discovered, and that’s what today’s article is all about.

Business is a collection of people and systems. And if those people and systems deliver value to the marketplace, the business will continue to operate. If it’s delivering value to the marketplace in a unique way that’s hard to find in other places, then the business will naturally take market share.

So, it’s the job of the team to ensure that value is being distributed to the market in unique ways that are new and interesting. You create a “moat” when that value is delivered in a way that’s difficult to rival.

The Triple Threat

Back to the original quote, “right people” means you have the right person; but that’s half the battle. You must also put the right person in the right seat or position. The talent has to be situated in the seat that matches their talents, competencies, and experiences.

You cannot take a great sales leader and put them over finance. They will fail. You can’t take someone great at finance and move them to the head of sales. This seems obvious, but we’ll often take a T3 player, promote them to a T2 leadership role, and expect them to excel. Usually, they don’t. The right player in the wrong seat will struggle.

So what’s the third variable that we’ve discovered? It’s the right version.

Here’s the formula:

Right Person + Right Seat + Right Version = Success

The Dynamic Dance of Culture and People

Human beings are not static; we are ever-evolving. Our personalities ebb and flow. It’s my experience that certain seasons bring out the best in people, and it’s our job as leaders to help regulate the irregularities and create baselines for people. We can do this through culture.

A good culture decreases organizational variability by consistently bringing a person’s best version to the surface. It’s your job to ensure people are pulled forward by a healthy vision and committed long-term to the organizational mission. This “pull” creates enthusiasm.

At one point, one of our sales teams for a training company long ago, was talented but not producing like they could have. We knew they were capable of more. The problem was a low level of energy & enthusiasm, which was trickling into their work ethic. It wasn’t good — so we decided to start re-designing the culture.

We created bonuses, trips, awards, and recognition for people who were doing an exceptional job. Do you know what happened? People began to show up early and stay late. They were excited again. The same players, in the same seats, but different versions showed up.

Culture encompasses three key areas:

  1. What we believe.
  2. Why we believe it.
  3. How strongly we believe it.

Even if you get the right T1, T2, and T3, it will always be your job to ensure people believe the right things for the right reasons. Then, you can use compensation, meetings, and planning to strengthen those core beliefs. The stronger the beliefs, the more enthusiastic people will be (assuming they fit your organizational mission). A good culture should remove people who don’t stand for what you believe as an organization.

Where Magic Meets Reality

You want your culture to turn your organization into a “self-cleaning” system. It is self-regulating, self-propelling, and to be honest, when you get your culture dialed in, it’s almost like magic in that it will heal itself. It’s like the body. If there’s a viral infection or something that does not fit the standards, it will be secluded, pushed out, or rejected. This is what happens when you have a great culture.

It’s a common trap to think that a good culture is always welcoming and happy and everyone is always friendly. That’s an incorrect assumption. A great culture will be abrasive to the wrong culture fit. Good cultures do not accept everybody. Good cultures do not bend their standards for people who aren’t hell-bent on achieving the collective mission. Good cultures always reflect nature: the fittest survive, and if you are not fit, you cannot stay.

A great culture rewards the team’s best players and punishes the team’s weak ones. This is when your business becomes scalable because it doesn’t necessitate constant “top-down” management or accountability; instead, it creates “bottom-up” accountability from the front lines to the top.

If you want an inside look at how we cultivate and manage teams in every business we advise, here is a special free tool you can access right now called Team Hub.

Check our blog each week for more new content. 🙂


-The Wealthy Consultant

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