Last fall, I was playing golf with a friend when I was reminded of an important leadership lesson – the power of assessment. I was getting ready to make a long fairway shot, a shot I had struggled with the whole round. Before I approached the ball, my friend casually said, “Josh, I’ve been watching you all day. Don’t try to crush the ball. Just work on hitting it in the sweet spot.” I shrugged and figured it couldn’t hurt given the lack of success so far. I took my time, swung the club, and watched as the ball soared longer and straighter than it had all day. Surprised, I turned around to see my friend with a big grin on his face. Shaking his head, he simply stated, “I learned a while ago that these clubs are designed in a specific way. I can swing harder or softer, compensate right or left, but it’s much easier if I just work on my form and let them function the way they were designed – using their sweet spot.”
“Duh!” I wanted to exclaim to myself. It seemed so elementary, but my mind was already connecting this simple concept to how we function in our roles at work. Here I had a bag full of clubs that all serve a specific purpose, and when utilized together, made for a beautiful round of golf.
Our companies and organizations are full of people who all serve a specific purpose and, when working together, make for an exciting and energizing place to work. The challenge can come when we are missing a few clubs (key personnel) or not using our clubs (personnel) properly. As leaders, it is our job to make sure we have the right people and, as Jim Collins puts it, that they are in the right seats (right positions).
When we have been functioning one way, however, it can become hard to objectively see what clubs are missing, or how the wrong club is being used for a particular shot. It can be amazingly helpful when a friend speaks up and shares with us what they have been observing. It’s the power of assessment. Just like I had tried all sorts of different techniques to correct my fairway shot, perhaps you have tried different theories and strategies to take your company to the next level.
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give your company is an objective assessment of your organization’s health and performance. We would be honored to discuss how North Group can be helpful to you and your team.
Take the time to assess – it may even take a few strokes off your next round!