It is being a while since I published my last post. I am under job transition and this subject came up during one of my sessions as part of getting to know my stakeholders – and I thought it worth sharing with you.
Sometimes people don’t do their best not because they don’t want but because condition for that to happen is not being created – mostly by the leader.
Being Brazilian I am big fun of barbecue – I really love it and we do barbecue at least twice a month. I am a confident cook when it comes to barbecue and can modestly state that I do a decent barbecue. For me, doing barbecue is simple. You just go to a butcher, select your preferred cut (I love rump steak), throw it to the grill and let the smoke cook the beef. Like anything, there are some small secrets, like – don’t turn the beef too much, poke it with knife or fork otherwise it will get dry and chewy, but in general it is an easy task.
People say my barbecues are great. To me, doing barbecue is simple and pleasant. It is easy when you have a good barbecue, you know a good-soft cut, the temperature of the barbecue and how long to keep it in the fire. I do however have absolutely no idea how to butchering a cow. If I was asked to butchering and do the barbecue, I am quite sure I would get as good as barbecuing only.
My talent is doing barbecue and not butchering.
The point I am trying to make here is that sometimes professionals are overloaded with tasks and put on roles they are only capable of doing well in part of it. Thrown on tasks they don’t enjoy or even know how to do it and without time to learn. Then the outcome is frustration from both sides, organization because is not getting what is expected from the employee and the professional because spends a lot of time ‘butchering’ and then when time to cook the rump steak comes, he is exhausted for being butchering and don’t have the time or energy to cook the rump steak the way he knows best. In other words, Not Able To Do What He Does Best!
In the business, sometimes extremely talented and experienced people are assigned to job and are not allowed to deliver best results because don’t have the tools, get caught in bureaucracy, micromanagement, inefficient processes or they are simply not efficiently allocated to a role where they can excel and deliver best performance.
It is the leader’s responsibility to allocate resources according to capability and experience. In that process, having open dialogue with the team, listening, learning about their background and asking the question ‘On your current role, are you being allowed to what you do best?’ is paramount.
Back to my analogy, as leader, how much you are helping on butchering so your talent can get the best cut, enough time and the right tools/barbecue to cook it?