Being in the Right Seat on the Bus is Useless

In the book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins suggests getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. While this seems like a good idea, it isn’t. It doesn’t matter who’s on the bus or where they sit. They’re passengers.

The bus follows a fixed route and schedule. The people onboard have no influence on where the bus goes, or when or how it gets there. It takes more than people sitting in the right seats to make an effective team.

For a team to be effective its members must be doing the right things right, at the right time.

Doing. Not just sitting. The right people applying the right competencies—the behaviors, skills and values—necessary to fulfill the organization’s mission and achieve the desired outcomes in the current environment.

It makes more sense to identify who the right people are by first creating job descriptions or hiring scorecards that specify what needs to be accomplished in each position to be successful. Include the core responsibilities, talents, performance expectations, experience and technical knowledge. Also include the minimum performance standards and personality strengths required by each position.

Define the position first, then fill the position with people whose strengths match the position and who exhibit key on-the-job behaviors.

Get everyone off the bus and get those people with the right skills and attitude all moving in the same direction and working together towards a common goal.

Bob Roitblat
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Bob Roitblat

Bob Roitblat is a Leadership Capabilities Expert and TEDx speaker. He helps organizations ignite creativity, overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Bob is also the president of Mainsail Consulting Group, a business-advisory firm. Also connect with Bob on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

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Bob Roitblat
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