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You Don’t Have to Fix It

Written by Mike Paton on October 26, 2015

EOS Leadership Team Employees People

You_dont_have_to_fix_itOne of the first things a company implementing EOS does is clearly define what it expects from its employees. They discover three to seven Core Values that define the organization’s culture, and they clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Those that consistently exhibit the Core Values and excel in their clearly defined roles are “Right People in the Right Seat.” 

Coached Up…or Coached Out

Those that don’t are typically given the opportunity to improve, ultimately coached up…or coached out. This works best when the manager clearly defines the company’s expectations and then identifies the specific gaps in the employee’s attributes and performance between what’s expected, and what’s really happening.

Once that happens, there are only two steps required to resolve the issue. The first is asking a simple question of the employee: 

“Do you want to fix this?” 

If they don’t, the resolution is easy and immediate. If they do, the next step is working with the employee to develop and implement an action plan likely to close the gaps between what’s expected and what’s delivered. If they execute the plan and close the gaps – the issue is resolved. If not, the employee exits – often voluntarily as it becomes clear they are likely to fall short of what’s expected. 

Here is Where the Process Often Breaks Down 

Lots of managers won’t take these steps without first trying to figure it out, or fix it FOR the employee. It’s our problem, not theirs. We try to figure out why they’re struggling, what’s happening at home, what we could be doing differently as leaders and managers to somehow make them better. 

I’m using the word “we” here because I’ve been guilty of this many times in my career. And our intentions are absolutely good here – we desperately want every single one of our people to be great at their jobs, and happy at work and at home. The problem is, there’s only one person who can make a person happy and effective – and no matter how hard you try as a manager, it isn’t you. It’s him. Or her. 

If this rings true – please keep caring as much as you do. Just know that the people you care about so much can’t start closing the gaps until they know about them. So have the conversation – early and often if necessary. The best EOS Tools to use for that conversation are your Core Values Speech, The Accountability Chart, the People Analyzer, and GWC. 

Using those tools, you can focus your time and energy on clearly defining your expectations and identifying the gap. Once they decide to close the gaps – helping is great. Fixing it for them is not. Let them fix it.

Next Steps:


More Blog Posts: ← The Captain is Not a King - Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit | Good People in a Bad System Look Like Bad People