Based on how well an employee “fits” their job, they can be a platinum-level player or literally a lead-level player dragging the organization down. (For more on the Platinum-Lead model read my Strategic Downsizing article.)
What makes an employee a platinum-level player? Or lead-level, for that matter? It isn’t because they are “good” or “bad.” It is about being in the right or wrong job.
When you are in the right job you act with passion. You are exceptionally competent. The requirements of the job are in alignment with your personal life.
The more examples of specific behaviors consistent with passion, competence, and alignment; the closer you are to being a platinum, gold, or silver-level employee. i.e. the better the fit between you and your job.
The fewer examples of those behaviors, the closer you are to being a bronze, tin, or even lead-level employee.
How can you assess your level? Make a list of the specific actions and behaviors that you are exhibiting on a consistent basis.
How have you expanded the scope and impact of your job?
What are specific examples of you exhibiting curiosity?
What are the specific examples of you driving to solve problems and deliver results?
What do you say and do that signals that you are “drinking the Kool-Aid?”
What specifically have you contributed in meetings? Asking questions, suggesting additional approaches, creating ah-ha moments of insight, etc.
When have you had to have your enthusiasm cooled down a bit as you got too passionate?
Where have you “moved the bar” delivering more than what was expected – more than the minimum required?
Where have you invested your own time and money – buying books, equipment, attending classes, etc.?
How are your specific skills and experiences aligned with the job’s requirements?
What certifications have you earned (ones that actually document your competence)?
What specific commitments have you made and delivered on?
What specific new authorities have you earned – moving from
wait –> ask,
ask –> propose,
propose –> inform after acting,
inform –> act independently
(Read Turning the Tables on Performance Reviews for more on The Authority Table model,)
What weaknesses have you overcome? Where have you filled in a gap in your skill set, experience, and/or education that your position requires?
Where have you made a major impact and how frequently are you an impact player?
Where have you prevented potential fires? (Stopping potential arsons and eliminating the need for fire fighting.)
Where have you taken advantage of opportunities to improve your knowledge, to gain new experiences, or to understand new ideas and methods?
How do you see your personal success entwined with your group and company’s success?
What are specific examples that demonstrate alignment between you and your manager?
What specific examples demonstrate alignment between you and the other stakeholders in your job such as customers, teammates, support staff, etc.?
What specific actions have you taken that are aligned with company core values?
What specific times did you step up to meet a special need such as staying late to meet a customer request, covering for a worker out with the flu, working odd hours, etc.?
Where have you adjusted your daily task prioritization to match the needs of the organization?
At the end of the day, it’s the specific behaviors you exhibit in your job that make you a successful employee — and that demonstrate your “fit” with a job.
In the companies I’ve worked with over the years, the employees care deeply about their company. Their actions are consistent with what they understand their leaders expect. Everyone in the organization may be responsible for success, but failure is the exclusive fault of senior management.
Senior management needs to agree on direction, decide what to focus on, and make sure the right people are in the right seats. The best way to do this is through a well structured strategic planning process, including effective implementation. (For more on strategic planning, review the first two chapters I wrote in the Business Expert Guide to Small Business Success.)
If you’re interested in having a facilitated strategic planning meeting that sets your strategy and launches its implementation, give us a call.