Apr 01 2008
A couple of months ago, I attended the annual trade show that many of my former employer’s clients go to. It was great to visit with several old friends and meet several new ones. It also brought Guy Gruenberg (Grow Consulting) and I together which is something you will be hearing more about in the near future.
Several of these individuals are avid readers of my newsletter (thank you for the support). Each mentioned he or she was surprised at the frequent focus on sales, marketing, and people management. I was surprised they were surprised. So, being the curious sort, I asked why they were surprised.
They were under the impression my only expertise was data analysis and performance review systems. That perception cracked me up but it did make sense.
The owners of my the consulting practice were SUPERIOR speakers. I mean these two gentlemen were about the best in the industry. Before starting the consulting practice, both had carved out highly successful livings traveling the country delivering seminars. Both were featured speakers at the World of Concrete for years. Both tended to focus on and speak about leadership and management.
So, being the engineer I am, it only made sense for me to slide into the data analysis and system design role while working for them. I was brought on board to balance out the team. And it worked quite well.
It also left our clients with the perception that numbers were my primary interest, focus, and skill.
That is the danger of perception. It can lead you to draw an incomplete picture of your staff’s capabilities and cause you to overlook one of the greatest resources for competitive advantage…the people who are already working for you.
Many of your workers could probably excel at several different types of tasks and in several different roles. Just because a worker is great at one role doesn’t mean he can’t be great at a completely different one.
Be careful making a final judgment on one of your employee’s skills and abilities when you have only seen him in one job. Frequently, employees are either miscast in the wrong role or they are capable of performing many roles equally well. Moving them to a new job often reveals starting new results and alters your perception of the talent you have working right under your nose.