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Thursday, 11 August 2016

You Do Not Plough With A Peacock

Mercy was employed as an accountant by one of our clients. She had been good at her work but over time her performance has been deteriorating. She was put on performance notice. She had given up on her fate in the organization until one time her boss gave me a call. She asked me to administer our psychometric tests on her.

It is through our two tests that we had helped the organization hire it's 3 top sales people in the last 2 years. Mercy was not impressed by the fact that she was being asked to take some tests that she knew her sales colleagues had taken. She had been a trained accountant. She did not have anything to lose except some 45 minutes to do the test.

Once the tests were completed we sent the report to her boss. Mercy was a lion. Among the three sales people we had hired one of them was a lion while the other two were horses. (We have 21 animals that represent different personalities). The boss was not shocked. She was also a lion and that is what frustrated her so much about Mercy. She knew she could work and get the results.

We had a meeting where we presented the report to Mercy and her boss and made a suggestion that probably it would be good idea if Mercy moved from accounts into account relations management role. In accounts she worked a lot with paper work and was expected to stick to a routine. As a lion this was not easy. She got motivated by tangible achievements and pursuing goals. She enjoyed taking leadership roles and taking up challenging roles. All these were available in the account management role.

Within a month Mercy had started bringing in orders from previously dormant accounts. She was the employee of the month. She was not yet the top sales person but she was so committed to becoming one within the next six months.

Mercy is like many other employees. People who could be easily described as role pegs fitted into square holes. They hold onto a job because of the paycheck. There performance is ok due to sheer commitment but in many cases they will never be spectacular in the job. Their position or role does not utilize their strengths. If you have a hunting position you don’t use a sheep for it, get a lion.

There are other employees who never get to know themselves and as a result try to fit into a mold they suppose is expected of them. They are copies of others rather than the best original of themselves. Self awareness is probably the most important element in emotional intelligence. When we are aware of our qualities we are able to turn them into strengths and be aware of them when they are our blind spots in the roles that we have. We get to know why we do things the way we do them and how that impacts the results we get as well as how we relate with others either as colleagues subordinates and bosses.

When filling a role it is sometimes to try creating the profile of the candidate that will best in a position and pursue that candidate. Other times it has been found that candidates of a particular personality type fit in a certain organization while another might struggle. This is because built in an organizations culture is its personality. That is one reason why an employee who was a super star performer in an organization struggles in a similar role in another organization and vice versa. It is synonymous in having a peacock amongst plough bulls or a hare among German Shepherds.

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