I talk a LOT about my passion which is how to find and apply your Zone of Genius (your ZoG).
Having the skill to not only identify, but articulate and then connect your job to your zone of genius is a serious skill. And one that pays massive dividends.
Imagine not only being completely aware of how you add exponential value through operating at your very best (and your most energised and happy), but also being able to describe that to others – clients, bosses, future leaders – those people who decide whether or not they want you on their team. Now imagine the holy grail – being able to design your role so you play completely in your zone! For most this sounds like an impossible dream.
But I assure you, it isn't.
However, that is for another video because today I want to focus on applying this lens to your team. To me this is something that is very intuitive – but it doesn't mean it is easy to do or readily applied.
When you are running a business and leading many people, the idea of sitting down and mapping out the individual genius zone for each of those individuals, then matching their roles to that skill set seems like a fantasy. Who has the time or money to only delegate tasks to people who love them? How can you custom design a role to suit the individual?
Well, as it turns out, you can pretty easily. It just takes an open mind a strategic approach and a willingness to have some honest conversations.
Over the years I have lead many teams. And it took me a while to get this right. I think it gets easier with experience, because as you get more experienced as a leader, you also become more adept at spotting talent, weeding out the slackers and having the foresight to play the long game when it comes to building a high performance team.
Leadership utopia in my mind, is when you have a team of people who are engaged, happy, and who LOVE what they do. Now imagine that at a team level? The performance, the culture, the trust, it's off the charts. Now this was my
vision and I pursued this over many years.
So how did I achieve this with an existing team of people?
Well, as I didn't have the luxury of starting with an empty page – although as an aside, that brings with it a whole different set of challenges – this is how I approached it:
- I got really clear on the individual strengths and unique qualities of each team member.
- I applied a filter across their current performance, their current role, and the big one for me their mindset and attitude.
- I then sat down with each of them and asked what they would change if they could design their role differently. What would they do more of? Less of?
Now armed with that information, I had a really clear picture of who my high performers and high potential team members were, who were the ones who were underperforming, a clear picture of their strengths and abilities, and their wish list. I added all this to my own intuition, observations and analysis, and using all that data I redesigned some roles, tweaked others, and dealt with the under-performers.
The result of this exercise was a highly engaged team, increased efficiency, better results and team that were all playing to their strengths.
The side benefit? Well I delegated more, more often, more successfully and more sustainably, because I wasn't just chucking the reporting at the person with the most capacity or the job title it seemed a fit for – I was delegating to the person best suited to that task, who enjoyed it, improved it and owned it. No boomerang reporting for me!
So that's my advice – take the time to truly understand the unique talents of each of your team!