With a bumpy road ahead for many two-year colleges and many people working from home, now is the time to assess your team and how they run. In this Quick Tips! video, Interact CEO Dr. Pamela Cox-Otto shares three skills that make up an efficient and productive team member.
Good morning. I’m Dr. Pam Cox-Otto and this is Interact Quick Tips. I’ve been thinking about some of the issues that I’ve been hearing you talk about and one of them is in the middle of this pandemic, the COVID. People working from home, people are feeling disconnected. And you’re noticing a lot of your employees, sometimes some of your better employees are losing focus, losing luck, they seem to be wandering in the wilderness and getting them to engage in the way that you need them to engage right now is more difficult. So I wanted to give you an idea, it’s a metaphor and well maybe more analogy that I use when I’m thinking about employees and I know it’s simplistic but it allows me to make judgments.
At times when I have a personal relationship with people and I need to make decisions that are smart, not just emotional. So, I look at people’s skill sets. Almost in the same way you look at a car, there are three major systems. Steering, meaning you can drive the car and get where you want to go, you can aim for a point and arrive their. Engine, the raw power to drive it to keep going, to literally push through. And then brakes, brakes are the thing that allow you to stop before you do something silly or stupid. Stop before you hurt other people, stop before you break a system, right? So those three things are the way I kind of look at what’s going on with my folks.
Sometimes you have somebody with a great engine, powerful engine, they’ve got drive, they’ve got ideas, they’ve got things. And yet, they wonder they can’t pick a point on the wall and head toward that instead they kind of pick things you met have presidents like that, particularly new presidents who have lots of great ideas, but focusing on one or two things that will allow you to really accomplish the things you need to accomplish are difficult because you have so many choices, particularly if you’re in leadership, right? I could do this or this or these five things. So engine with no steering isn’t good.
But you can also have somebody who has a great steering system and no drive, they can see I should go exactly there and then they sit there or they start putting out there, maybe they’ll get there in five or 10 years when you need them to get there in the next five or 10 minutes, right? So without an engine steering doesn’t matter.
And then finally, brakes. If you have somebody who can aim for a point where they’re going, they’ve got a great engine, but they mow over the top of people. Somebody’s on their way and they don’t pause, they don’t even tap the brakes to warn people, they just right across them, right?
Now, the reason why I use those three ideas is this very simple one. You can have somebody with a great steering system, you can have somebody with good brakes, good ability to stop when they need to. But if they don’t have an engine, it doesn’t matter if you have steering or brakes because you’re not going anywhere. So bottom line, the People that I keep are the people who have great engines, the people who understand that they have to have the drive. And maybe they need some help with steering. You can help them with that. Maybe they need some help with brakes, you can put up stop signs. But if they don’t have an engine, the drive, the willingness to get it done, when it needs to get done, then there’s somebody that maybe you should be looking at either changing the engine out, or letting them find something where they have more drive.
That’s it, Quick Tip, not the fun part of being a leader in a company, but also part of the things you need to know simply because we’re going to be facing tough choices. And that’s something I hope gives you some ideas. That’s it for today. Talk to you soon.