People Decisions: Getting the Right People on the Bus and Getting the Wrong People Off the Bus

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On July 5, 2011

The decisions we make about people are, without question, some of the most critical decisions we can make for our companies. You just can’t have a great company without great people. And not surprisingly, the “people component” is perhaps the most difficult part of a business to master.

Nothing affects corporate culture more. Nothing can energize a company more—or cripple it faster. It’s not just a matter of having the right number of people to match the number of positions you have open. You’ve got to have the right people in the right place, doing the right thing. These people need clear accountability and metrics that allow them (and their superiors) to know if they are on track.

It’s a little bit like filling the seats on a bus. Your “business bus” needs to have a clear destination (vision and goals). If the people on your bus aren’t headed in the same direction—if their goal is different—you won’t enjoy the ride. And in some cases, the riders have hijacked the bus and taken it off route.

As a business leader, it’s your job to make sure you get the right people on the bus and get the wrong people off the bus. The wrong people aren’t necessarily “bad” people. They’re just not headed to the same destination you are. You’re not helping them—or your company—by letting them ride along. You may actually help them by getting them off your bus so that they can find one that’s going where they want to go.

One way to help identify whether you have the right people riding with you is to identify each position within your company and put the name of the person responsible next to it. Then write down the key performance indicators for that position and assign a specific metric/measurement that indicates whether or not that person is succeeding in his or her area of responsibility.

I’ve got easy-to-use tools that can help you do this. Contact me if you’re interested—and keep that business bus rolling!