Episode 22 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
How do you successfully bring a new leader or executive into a leadership team?
Kevin and Brad discuss the challenge of bringing a new leader into an established leadership team and, if you believe you have an A player executive through Topgrading or an effective hiring process, how you can integrate that new team member into your leadership team in the quickest and most effective manner.
They discuss stories, tips and tools about best practices for leadership team onboarding.
Kevin Lawrence – Lawrence and Company Growth Advisors
Brad Giles – Evolution Partners
YouTube – The Growth Whisperers
Hey there welcome to the growth whispers podcast where everything we talked about is helping leaders to build enduring great companies. Those are companies that last a long time and continue to get better. I’m Kevin Lawrence and I’m here today with my co host Brad Giles down under in Australia. Brad, how you doing today?
Good I Kevin How you doing? I am doing quite good engineer. Do you know why because in Australia spring has sprung now, the chutes are starting to come out of the trees The days are beginning to warm up. And that means I’m doing pretty good. But today, how are you doing?
You know, I’m doing great. We got a quite a busy week here with clients and some planning going on. And it’s a beautiful day. It’s It’s a beautiful September in Vancouver and sunny day today. Yes. And it was very warm. Actually. It was wonderfully warm outside. So yeah, I’m, I’m damn good. Have some time off with my kids last week. Life is good.
Good. Good to hear. So what are we talking about today? Tell me what is what is it that we’re going to dig into today? Now, you know, we had we were having a chat as we’re preparing for the show. And we thought and interestingly, we both had the same idea obviously on different, you know, ends the world. We probably couldn’t technically get farther away from each other. But we both had the same thought. I got off a strategic call with one of my clients and the last discussion we had is, so how do you successfully bring a new executive on to the leadership team and have them work well with everyone else. And then you had the identical thought. And that’s really what we’re digging into today is, you know, these leadership teams are critical. And they’re usually very harmonious.
Some of them are really tight, and they’ve been together for a long time and you bring in a new one, a new person doesn’t always go well. Yeah, yeah, it is. It’s It’s funny how these just popped up for both of us. I’ve had several of the teams that I work with. And you know, we’ve had this situation where a new member is coming into the team, not necessarily for any particular reason, like I think about one. They’ve got us they didn’t have a CFO before and they’ve got a new CFO has joined the business. Therefore, that person is joining the team as they join the board.
In this, and another situation where we’ve been growing very fast, and the person due to the success and split the business into two separate areas, and therefore we needed to bring on new members. So there’s a variety of completely legitimate reasons why you need to add new team members, but how do you really do it successfully into a leadership team? So that as quick as possible, you can get that team to become high performing and trusting again.
Yeah, well, I can start by telling what not to do. Please do.
You know, we’ve got a strategy here we call in in Canada, it’s called throwing them to the wolves. Just throw them in there and see what happens. And I will share two stories that tell you no doubt now. There could have been a hiring issue. There’s a whole other dozen episodes we can do around hiring these very important roles, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. But I will tell you
One where this person did not get integrated Well, in a country that’s somewhere in between the two of us. And I remember being in a strat planning session in the room, and one of the fellow executives going, you know, I think you should go for a hot air balloon ride.
And I’m going to be on the ground with my gun shooting holes in your balloon. What he’s basically saying, you know, go up in the air and I’m gonna shoot you down. It was that like, there, there was such hatred and as a matter of alignment, that misalignment was incredible. Now, this is a company with people with very different cultures that all kind of clustered with their different cultures. It was a big team was about 15 people. And one person who did not integrate well with the other Could he have with some proper work we’ll talk about today maybe? Yeah, that person got released very quickly, because they just couldn’t do it. And that was such hate. How long did it take before they were released? It was like another three months from that point.
Yeah. And how long had the person been in the organization? Or a year? A year? Right. So quite a long time. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Guess what hydro takes a while to build up. Yes.
And another one that wasn’t near as potentially violent. But another one where the team was a very tight family league team, almost like a brotherhood. Or like, you know, like, think of like an American football team, right really, really tight or a soccer team or a cricket team badminton team, not probably soccer team cricket team. Football, as you would call soccer.
And they, this new guy joined the team, and they’re and they’re like, hey, come join us for a drink. You know? Hey, watch comfort.
Dinner. Hey, we’re gonna go to a ballgame. You know, we’re at a retreat. Hey, come join us in the hot tub.
He thought it was a question.
It was a requirement. Yeah. Now, we ended up doing 360s this guy was not integrating with the team at all. He came from a company where you did your job and you went home. This is a company you do your job. You hang out with your team, and then you go home. And we’re doing a retreat interesting down in.
I think we’re in either Mexico or Florida. I don’t remember where but somewhere warm and nice. And we just did 316 I got the results.
And I got his I’m like, we need to have a little chat. Because it was they lit him up. Yeah, because it didn’t feel like part of the team or prepped him for the 360 discussion because we’re having an open discussion told him that the invitations for dinner and drinks and hot tub were not optional and had one of the woman on the team
Who went and counseled him a bit and what she said is, you know, and she she was you know at that point she was a 28 year old probably 28 you know a bunch of guys in there you know late 30s early 40s she goes I go to the hot tub I’m not gonna go and sit in the hot tub with them that would get that would be that would be a little bit awkward. But she goes I sit on the edge of the hot tub because it’s checked time and bonding time and social time so that night our good friend also he actually was in the hot tub too he got so there’s there’s because there’s there’s cultural norms and expectations and if you don’t get it like in this company No one told them you know coming to those things is not are not as not an offer it’s a requirement if you’re part of the team otherwise that’s an insult not to go and so there’s lots of different examples and and but those are two of like when it goes bad it it goes really And sometimes good people can’t recover from those. Yeah, as we do the old Canadian throw them to the wolves.
I suppose we don’t necessarily have a saying exactly like that rock that comes to mind.
But we certainly I would say culturally, we certainly don’t tolerate people messing around. Let’s just say that and it may not be joining in the hot tub type scenario. But, I mean, if you’re going to join a leadership team, there’s a certain level of expectation that you’re going to participate. And here’s the thing, every time a person joins a team, that team fundamentally reinvents itself. Okay? And that’s a really important I think consideration in this area.
Because if you’ve got to think when this person joins this leadership team, we have now reinvented the team. It’s not the old team. This is a new team. And we need to set our set the new expectations or re establish the expectations. Imagine if you had a very calm, quiet, focused, humbled, dedicated team and then allowed me a man or lady joined the team, and they were full on and they dominated the conversation perhaps didn’t have a high EQ.
That’s an extreme example of fundament common example. Yeah, fundamentally reinvented. It’s almost like if you take a piece of fabric, and then you layer it into another piece of fabric, you have to weave those two pieces of fabric together. And if you don’t weave them together, you have two pieces of fabric. And a team is meant to be one piece of fabric or one you see you have to kind of all those relationships and getting to know weaves people together.
For those of you who are listening on the audio, I’m weaving my fingers together if you can’t see, can’t see it on the video. But you have to we actually have to do the work to do the weaving. Yeah. You know, and this company that I was with earlier today, we’re talking about this. And we were saying what are our best memories? And you know, our fabric is really tightly interwoven. The one I was with today actually is the company where the guy didn’t get the hot tub message or join us for drinks message. I was with those that group today’s guys and girls and great, great, great, great, great company, really great company and, and it’s almost like my American brothers. You know, I’m Canadian, they’re like they are. It’s like my real, you know, real awesome, but you know, as we’re going through it, the interconnections are the inter woven fabric. I mean, we’re going through sharing some of our best memories.
I mean, you know, we went through like, you know, Zac Brown was private Zac Brown concert in Chicago Zoo 3am I’m out to a place called the redheaded piano bar where there was dueling pianos and one person has to haul another person out. We had a night in Vegas, where it was a crazy party night. And where everyone had all good fun, but had a great time. One of the people that had to get carried I actually to carry one of the executives back to his hotel room, he actually couldn’t speak, I had to go to the front desk and ask for a key to his room, so I could open the door and push them in and wish him well, you know, and, and like, we go, I could probably go with this team with him for a decade. For me with the team, we went through all these stories, but we have these stories and these inter woven understandings connections that bond you and your basically, as you said, you need to now weave this other person into your fabric. Yeah, and help them to get into sync because all of those pre existing relationships are so powerful and it’s not just I’m sorry, it’s not just the relationships in it, that’s incredibly important. It’s also the learnings. So when your example when I’m working with a team, and we’ve been together for seven years, let’s say, all of the learnings like we kind of begin, we build a foundation, and then we build the next level of knowledge in the next and the next in the next. All of those people have got that and can have higher level more complex discussions. And then when you’re joining in and you don’t know, what a hedgehog is, or a flywheel, or you don’t understand the concept of profit per x, or any of the stuff that we analyze really deeply in companies. It’s difficult. So it’s, it’s the learnings and the laying all that. Yeah, it’s rad. That’s a great point. I just made a note. It’s a great point because you know it all for both the companies we work with, we do a lot of learning together. Yeah. And so we were today we have a there’s a phrase we use a company called
Have you considered and we do something called Have you considered? If you haven’t, if you haven’t read David Marquez book, turn the ship around, you would have no idea what you’re talking about. But we’ve all read, it’s almost you know, it’s a key tenant to our operating system. But if you haven’t read the book and you don’t know the thinking, you’re right, so there’s probably for a lot of the teams you work with a dozen must read books that you better get through pretty quick to be up to speed. But that aren’t really raid books, Kevin is what am I here? No. Obviously, you’d be remiss, promoted. I’m sorry, that you position. I’m sorry, HR HR. Next time, we got to make sure leaders are learners, learners. Let’s make sure we don’t let someone on the team who’s not willing to learn and grow. Thank you very much. Oops, you know, the other one I hear is, you know, I just I finding it so hard just to get up to speed or I’ve got so much to learn in the role and I’ve got to create results.
That’s, that’s really odd. Yeah. And, and and Bradley, you know, we, you weren’t hired for a technical job. You’re part of this thing called a team. And so connecting with your team is more important than getting the goals. And that’s where the council comes in. Right. You know, the the council that people get into first is that is very common. Brad, I have a talk with all the new executives, we onboard, and I have the same talk every time. Hey, glad you’re here. Yeah, I know you think you need to prove yourself in the first 90 days.
That is a horrible idea. That is potentially death to your career here. What you need to do is get to know and build relationships with the team deeply and understand the business. You should make no decisions. You should not hire nor fire Nor promote anybody for 90 days because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing in our context, even though you’re a subject matter expert, you’re only going to create problems for yourself and us. And by the way, Hey, Mr. CEO. I’m just counseling Frank here on the fact of his 90 day plan, please, let’s be in sync. Frank, we know you’re good. You don’t need to prove yourself, you need to lay the foundation for the next nine, nine years. Not not, don’t worry about this first 90 days.
I want to go back a couple of minutes to something that you said that potentially add more weight than you may have given it credit for. And that was you’ve been hired not to do a technical job.
Now, many of the people in these instances are either promoted into the leadership team or have got a job which is in some ways a promotion, old or they’re working in this kind of high fast growth environment that we took typically work in for the first time, you know, they’ve come from either a larger, slower multinational or Yep. And where they might have been a manager but not an executive.
So, so let’s just discuss that for a second what you said there, which is, you’re not hired to do a technical job, you’re hired to be an executive. Can you just explain that a little bit more?
As an executive, your job is to bring people together and get results through those people or help those people to get the results Your job is not to get the results yourself. You’re here to guide and mentor versus do work. That’s That’s what a leader is, is they know how to get the help the people do their best work or get the best work out of people. And so understand, understanding the context, working well with your teammates, all those other things are critical what you know how smart you are.
In terms of technical knowledge, sometimes she gets in the way. Yeah. I’m sure you could add something to that, Brad, you know, but that’s that’s, I’d love to hear what you would add to that cuz I’m sure you have your own version of it. Yeah, so imagine a pyramid and you’ve got at the bottom of the pyramid, no disrespect intended front one workers, then you’ve got supervisors, then you’ve got managers and then at the top of the pyramid, you’ve got to see a little managers then leaders then CEO, right frontline workers, supervisor, manager, CEO, don’t get hung up on the number. Okay. Okay. But if that’s how a typical chart would be, so, on the left, you’ve got the technical knowledge, and that is SEO is, let’s say 80 to 90%. Sorry, only 10 to 20% technical knowledge, frontline worker is 80 to 90% technical knowledge on the right hand side
We’ve got another kind of thing, which is for this for the personality and culture requirements, frontline worker 10 to 20%, you could have a frontline worker with a personality bypass, and they’d have a good chance of potentially keeping the job CEO later, it’s 80 to 90% of the requirements of their role is personality, and culture, and interpersonal stuff.
It’s almost like percent waiting between technical skill and EQ, is kind of what I’m hearing in your model and as the CEO, the technical skill or percentage of time they use technical skill versus EQ. It’s not a direct correlate. I got the concept. Exactly. You name it. That’s why people use a little a little bit of technique. They have to be smart and actually think donor CEOs know a lot about a lot. Yeah, but they rely on people who are a Masters in Those are good to know a lot about legal. Yeah. But they’ll have a lawyer or a legal team who really, really is a subject matter expert. So there’s something there very good subject matter generalists. And they’re surrounded by subject matter experts for quality decisions. But yeah, I love the point you’re making is that for those people in the senior leadership jobs, you know, it’s there. They’re it’s more about EQ, they’re closer to psychologists than they are technicians, or technical experts. They know how they understand people and how to get people to perform. Yeah, absolutely. So what a great distinction. Yeah, gone if we look at it, between tech, technical expert and psychologist, because that’s really what great leaders are, in some ways, not not the therapy, therapeutic type, you know, but more the understanding human nature very, very well. Now, again, that’s EQ Yep, sorry. Go ahead, Brad. Yeah.
Yeah, so when I want to just give a quick tool or a simple thing that I do when someone new joins, you know, like, we would typically call the person beforehand as the external adviser, and in preparation for an off site. Yeah, but when at that first there’s always the first meeting and people often anxious about well, what’s the expectation? And and either they thinking I’ve never done one of these before, or I’ve done a lot of these before, and I know what I’m doing. Right. And let’s be fair, that may be true, but maybe we’re doing it slightly different. Or maybe we’re doing it the same. We want to just, we want people to integrate. So I typically ask a few questions, which is, what advice? No part of me How has the leadership team changed since it’s formed since it formed and we started working together? So it’s been four years. So this is a question for everybody else in the room. How’s the leadership team changed. And it’s interesting to get those insights and interesting for the new person to understand that.
And then the second one, I think is what advice would you give to help this person to succeed? Because there’s not really any other platform or situation where they get where we are sales manager gets to say that the new ops manager, look, this is what happens. And how can you make this environment work best for you? Like, how do you succeed in this environment? If that makes sense? Like there’s two separate questions in that last part. So yeah, just a few simple questions that are a bit of a formality when a person joins in love it. Yeah, but it’s, it’s just a different. It’s a it’s a way to help them to get up to speed but like we’ve already said, People say, look, here’s what you got to do. You got to read this book, you’re gonna read that book. You’re you’re learning is in that and then they say, do the homework. You’re not going to get away without doing the homework.
For these quarterlies attend the meetings all the kind of stuff that we know that over the years these people have understood. Yeah, that’s great. You know, I really like those two questions, Brad that really helps the team to also help bring the person into into the team that is that’s great. I often also as well, because we will we we have a few different educational or tools we use I will do an overview of scaling up with a new executive a quick one on one a Hey, get to know you.
And I will also give them my my 90 day talk as part of that, but it was I will do up often not always, but often a one on one education piece on that which will also help them get up to speed before they get into the room. What other things have you seen people do that helps to get those people in sync. And another one that I know that we do is I remind the team and this person that
This team is your first team, the team, you’re a member on, say, for example, as an executive, your loyalties and needs to be here first, and then your team needs to be second. If your team is first, then you’re going to be creating a silo. And then it’s going to be a little bit challenging, because you’re not gonna, you know, have the alignment and be in sync with your peers. So that’s one of the things the absolutely so just before we go, I think so to clarify, yes, if you’re the sales manager, this sales team should be your second team. The leadership team should be your first team just to clarify that plays go on exactly right. If you’re the CFO, the executive team is your primary loyalty. And your secondary loyalty is the controllers or whoever reports to you. Yes, absolutely. The other thing is we often often have team norms, or a team behavior or a team code of conduct and if It’s already developed, we’ll bring it out. Hopefully we don’t have to dust it off too much. It’s still being used and share it with the person. And then just have an open discussion Hey, anything we would change or tweak a Mr or miss new person, any questions or thoughts or, you know, but but basically have a discussion around those teams like and I know, most teams don’t have that kind of stuff. We work with people who are really serious about building enduring great companies. Yeah. So they’re more likely to have these tools that just make it easier to get along and to be in sync. So that’s, that’s, that’s another thing that that that we regularly do.
Here’s an interesting or important point, whether you’re listening as the coach or the CEO or the executive that’s new. If you don’t succeed in the leadership team, drawing on your point of the number one team. If you don’t succeed in that environment, you won’t succeed in the business. It’s as simple as that.
Say that again, Brad, I love that what you just said.
Alright, so I’m drawing on what you said about the number one team. So if you’re the sales manager, the sales team is not your number one team, the executive team is the number one team, okay? But if you don’t succeed in the leadership team, then your time will be limited in the business like you cannot succeed. So you’ve got to understand if you’re coming in or if you’re getting a new person to come in, getting them to read these books, getting them to understand these concepts is so very important. I’ve seen I’ve seen this where people did kind of okay, their job, but they they don’t commit the effort to integrate to understand the all the stuff that we’ve spoken about today like to and to do the hot tub to do that side of it. And also to do the to learn to understand what does profit per x mean, how does it apply? How does it impact them?
business or whatever it is. And because they’re focused on the day to day and their team first and they pay not as much attention as they should, they simply don’t last they, I’d say one or two hours later they’re gone.
Yeah, and I just I’m having flashbacks of some of these people in my head as you’re talking I Oh, you know, and that’s those relationships. I mean, oh, I mean, one he was a miss hire. This guy was air persuade. It’s f it’s a very successful company with a quite respectful but conservative culture.
And he drives a Ferrari to work and, and he has the personality. I mean, I love cars. I’m not judging different car, but he has a stereotypical Italian guy with the person that needs the good looking slick Italian guy, with the personality of a guy you would associate
That would be driving a Ferrari to work every day. And oh my gosh, and he lost the respect of the team really, really quickly and of course, didn’t make it he was one of these guys actually, that was okay. Okay with a few people, but then he just wrote off some others it was bad. I have one notorious, funny story.
A very, very healthy executive I worked with this one was also in the US. And I came to a meeting the new CFO had been there 42 days.
I don’t know what was wrong with this guy. But he was undermining gossiping and creating chaos within the executive team. I’m there and it’s the 1030 break. I haven’t had a chance to say anything. I go over I heard a few rumblings. I go to the CEO. I said, do we fire him at lunch or do we Wait till the end of the day, or maybe tomorrow and he’s like, Yeah, no, I can see it.
Day 42 he had already killed his career at the company. He was trying too hard. He wasn’t being transparent. He was he. I think he had a good intent trying to hustle too fast. But we didn’t we waited. We fired him the next day. We didn’t fire him that day. Yeah, it was bad. And you know, and unfortunately it was a little bit of a throw yours throw them to the wolves culture at this company. They have the strong will survive. Insanely smart group of people.
Yeah, so that was, you know, could we have on board though I have weird could the company have, you know, got them up to sink more? Probably.
Although he did get a real test of what it takes to be a 19. That’s a really important point that you might there. And as you know, I’m writing a book about onboarding at the moment. spend a lot of time in there. Don’t dig too deep into that. But the point that you made is quite important because when we look back, when we look back at someone who’s left the business in an inappropriate short amount of time, we say, you know what, that person wasn’t a good fit. And I think that there’s this myth of fit where we look back, yes, that makes us then think that it’s binary, right? It’s either red or blue. But it’s not. It’s if we think about it like a spectrum, and we think about onboarding somebody into a leadership or like a spectrum, then we can then we can ask the really important question here, which is, how do you get a person who’s joining a leadership team to be successful? And that means that as the CEO, you’ve got to map it out, and you’ve got to think, Okay, well, I’ve got to get them to read scaling up. Okay? And they’ve actually got to do it. And they’ve got to understand the whys. They’ve got to understand that this is the number one team, maybe you’ve got to give an A def give them a definition of terms because when we use all of
These yes prizes and they’re not used to it. Maybe you’ve got to do that.
Maybe they’ve got to go out to lunch with everybody in the leadership team in the first two weeks or something. But that’s what we were just talking my clients in India I was on the phone with tonight or video conference tonight we were talking about this and it’s like, you know, they have passed and other people it’s like they go work for a week with a bunch of the other executives for a week. Right? That’s that that may not be the right thing for your companies. But it’s time with whether it’s lunches I don’t think lunches are enough. I think there needs to be more than more than that really time to get to know each other. But yeah, it’s it’s it’s it’s a serious project. And and I like what you’re saying about Oh, they weren’t a good fit.
And and I think there’s cases no different than your example of salespeople. You know, if a salesperson doesn’t work out, you can easily say, well, they weren’t very good, or did we not train them well enough. Did we not spend the time with them and coach them and mentor them. I remember going back on a job I had my first real serious job I had that I took in hardcore sales. I was in the media business. And I had an amazing, amazing sales manager and it was Warren Morgan love the guy. He became a mentor to me, sadly, he didn’t live a long life, which was, you know, really unfortunate. He was an amazing, amazing man. And I remember being in this job I had loved best training, the best mentoring, the best coaching you could possibly have. And I almost gave up at the four and a half month point.
Right. And he had the faith in me and at the five month point, the floodgates opened in a way I went It was awesome. Yeah. But but that’s what the like outstanding training like it literally I had like the best. I know what I’ve seen whether it probably is as good as it can get I had and I still almost gave up. Yeah, and most salespeople don’t even get close to that. And I think if we take
That same thinking and layered over an executive joining a team or a leader join leadership team.
There needs to be some rigor in our responsibility is to have some rigor in that direction. Otherwise, there’s going to be people that could have made it and didn’t know. And that says all the reasons why we don’t do it is massive cost. And it’s not it’s not fair to them. But it’s almost like I’m getting a little bit crazy with my metaphors here. But it’s like, you know, if you’re gonna decide to have a third child, you know, you need to have a plan of how you’re going to take care of it. If there’s only two of you to take care of it in the house. Right? You got to really be thinking there’s a commitment required for that to happen. And you know, and I guess the point that we’re really making here today, Brad, is that all too often we kind of just throw them to the wolves. Good luck. Yeah, and it will work sometimes you got the perfect person. It’ll probably work out they’re smart enough to figure it out. But and that but that’s but that’s a lazy
Excuse, I’m sorry, that’s a lazy excuse because what yeah, that’s the lazy CEO says, you know, like, if they’re good, they’ll fit into this leadership team. And and then that comes back to binary thinking which it’s not. What if they’re 86%? Good? Yes, yes, it is the difference. Exactly. And if 87% of the pass or fail mark to make it, there’s those people that could be between 79 and and, and and 86 that you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose good people, no different than salespeople without any training. And that’s exactly it. The no brainers will make it but the other good ones won’t which is, goes back into why do we do 360s provide feedback, all this other stuff, it’s for those ones that are kind of on the cusp but aren’t quite there. yet. They’re, you know, they’re they’re not in that 90% and up, they need a little extra help.
I think that’s what this is about. Is is setting everybody up to win, not the people who will just naturally figure it out that that is the key thing is specially, especially when there’s some weird dynamics in the company, you know, and there’s a great saying is that if you’ve put more than two people into a job that have failed, it might not be the people. And I remember and I gonna keep this real generic to protect the innocent, but I have a company that I worked with for more than a decade. It was one of a group I worked with a one that I worked with, and people kept failing in this one role. It was a digital role in our bricks and mortar business. They kept failing. Uh huh. And I will tell you, there were three people in that job, who I like to this day, if they call I’m going to answer and talk about I really liked them. Two of them, I still actually communicate with two of the three, there might have been four.
But it just it just it just, there was dynamics in that company that if you didn’t build the right relationships with the right people in the right way, it ain’t, it wasn’t ever gonna work. And that’s more of a company issue than a person issue. And that’s, you know, that’s a whole other challenge. So, let’s go back to hiring. The what, what we both believe in this believe is the wrong word. We both use this top grading methodology. And the outcome, or the objective of the tip top grading methodology is that, excuse me is that you have 90% chance of getting an A player to effectively I’ve done that, Miss justice, you’ve got a 90% chance of getting a player through the top grading process. So you eliminate The people who are going to be a players in your organization. So therefore, if you use that concept 10% of the people who join won’t be a player’s or may not fit, therefore, then you into the next phase of integrating into the leadership team. The job shouldn’t be to exit those 10% within a specified time. So that you end up with, let’s say close to 100% a plus one of course that is the that the objective in our companies. Yes. So you when we think about this question, you want to get people to leave like it’s good. I come back to I think about a story where we had exactly the situation we had a, again, protect the innocent. We had a CEO who had let’s say an operations or or general Operations Manager join. This person had been in a project management role.
Another organization but never really, in a leadership team capacity, didn’t wasn’t really interested in it. And we forced this kind of onboarding this, this hard and fast onboarding. And the person left, I would say within about four months, and and the CEO was really disappointed. They said, Look, it didn’t work out. And I said, Look, this is actually a success. We could have gone on for two years, unless we applied the rigors of making sure this person Yes, integrates? Well, it’s so very important. Yes, it really helps to that we have done everything in our power to help them to be successful. And then if they’re not successful, it’s really clear. One thing I will add on to this there is so getting the right people is critical. As companies get bigger, there is a really big difference between what some would call a director and an executive or a leader.
And an executive, there’s a massive difference. And I will tell you in founder led entrepreneurial companies, only some people are actually capable of reporting directly to a CEO of a founder led entrepreneurial company. And you need to be quite intelligent, quite independent and good at figuring a lot of stuff out on your own. Because founder CEOs are different in some cases than some professional CEOs that are used to being parts of bigger businesses, because founder CEOs often have it Not always, but often haven’t been part of bigger machines. And I will tell you in this there’s all the all the the creating of that healthy team and having that person on board. A lot of the onus is on the CEO to create that and not everybody is good at that skill. Yeah, right. It’s something we end up helping people it’s not natural for a lot of people don’t even know how to but what I will say about the right people is I have directors who get promoted to executives who don’t have executive capabilities, and it’s a train wreck, I cannot tell you how many times we will take someone who gets promoted to executive reporting directly to the CEO. And they fall on their face. And then we put them under a really solid executive. And they thrive.
Because there’s a different skill set that executives have to think things through. And, you know, they’re much more strategic and, you know, technically better at leading things than some of these directors or managers that still need a lot of guidance. And so some people just aren’t ready. So no matter what you do, and how you actually prepare this person, if they don’t have the intelligence, or some of the capabilities to match up and be in sync with their peers.
It’s not going to work. So that’s when we go back to the topgrading and using something called the scorecard where we look for where those competencies they really need to have to be successful in that room.
It’s pretty, pretty critical because all that other stuff. If you’re still the wrong person. A lot of this stuff doesn’t work. Again, it won’t make you successful.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s, but it’s got to be viewed as a winner as well what if we if the person doesn’t work and we get them out early, all the leadership team and we you know we protect the integrity of the high performing leadersip team Yes, you’re like, that’s a win it’s not necessarily only a fail, like the processes work.
Yes, because of the best you get is probably 90% chance of putting a n A player into those roles and those roles need A players. Yeah, you got to call the 10. You gotta. And the idea is you’ll ideally you want to do it in the most humane way possible. So, let’s kind of summarize this The main thing we’re saying here today is that you can have excellent people, but when you bring them onto a leadership team whether it’s a new person coming in, or an existing person moving up. If you confirm for sure they have all the skills and competencies to do their job well. It’s still our job, your job, someone’s job to give them the right guidance, resources, and structure to to really deeply connect with that team, so that then things can happen quickly and smoothly and they can have great robust debates, and it doesn’t turn into some backstabbing political battle.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, and we’ve just got to, we’ve got to know that this, this is someone’s job, it’s not just going to happen, if you want to have a better chance of having someone successfully integrated into the leadership team. There’s one there’s work to be done. There’s jobs to be done by, you know, predominantly the CEO to make sure that has the best chance of success, which is what we all want. Yes. Excellent.
Well, thanks for listening, everyone. This has been the Growth Whispers podcast I’m Brad Giles and joined as always by my co host Kevin Lawrence. You can find me at evolutionpartners.com.au you and you can find Kevin at Lawrence&co.com. Well thanks for. Thanks for listening everyone have a great week. I will also want to see you soon.