Fantastic Teams #8 – Terrorists

Values are incredibly important in every day life.  You will know that there are some people you can instantly connect with, strike up a great dialogue and become friends very quickly.  Other’s no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t connect, you almost take an instant dislike to them and you don’t always understand why that is.

We’re all unique individuals and one of the attributes of uniqueness lies in our individual values and beliefs.  These are our filters.  We take in sights, sounds, feelings and interpretations of the world through these filters.

Our values are usually fixed by the age of 8, our beliefs are subject to change (eg: People used to believe the earth was flat until evidence disproved that belief)

The people whose values and beliefs are a very close match to our own tend to become our loved ones, our life partners or our closest and best friends.

The people whose values and beliefs are a little similar tend to be people we get on with well but don’t make it to the best friends list such as people we might have nice conversations with at the Gym, Pub or school playground when dropping off the kids.

Conversely, the people whose values and beliefs are mostly opposed to our own are the ones we simply can’t connect with.  They may not be bad people, but they see the world in such a different way that there’s conflictive views.

Why is this important?

Well, the same principle applies to the people you recruit as team members.

The team members whose values and beliefs are the closest match to your own will get you.  They’ll understand what you’re about, why you want stuff doing they way that you do and will embrace your passion and vision.  These people will shed blood, sweat and tears for you.  They’ll go over and above for you.  They can easily be recognised by that trait alone.  They will regularly put in ideas for the good of the business even if those ideas come at the expense of their own working conditions.  These are the people you really want to keep.

The team members whose values and beliefs are a similar match are your 9-5’ers.  They’re good workers, they’ll drop everything at 5pm and be out the door though.  They won’t go the extra mile for you.  Ideas that they put forward will more likely be for the improvement of their own working conditions rather than the good of the business itself.

The team members whose values and beliefs are oppose to yours are what I call terrorists.  They don’t get you.  They don’t understand your preferences in the way you want things doing.  They complain.  When they’re not complaining to you they’re complaining to others in your team.  Constantly chuntering about things.  This bring the morale down of others in your team, especially the people in the 9-5 range.  They also do the bare minimum required in their job description.

Importantly though is that you, the employer, spend a lot of your time trying to appease these terrorists, trying to get them onboard, trying to get them to come around to your way of thinking.

You inadvertently do this at the expense of not giving quality time to the people who shed blood sweat and tears for you.  This leaves them feeling unappreciated.  Making them begin to wonder why they work for you.

The result is that your best employees begin to move on, because they don’t feel appreciated.  You’re left with the 9-5’ers and the terrorists.  You don’t enjoy managing a team of people and the culture isn’t pleasant.

Discover you values, beliefs and passion.  Fold that language in to your communication when looking for new team members.  Don’t be embarrassed to do that.  It will attract the people who share those and will (rightly) deter the ones that don’t share them.

Pluck up the courage to exit the terrorists.  Seek legal advice by all means but understand legal advice errs on the side of caution, usually that means going through performance measurement processes that last for months.  It’s not always down to performance.  These people perform to the minimum level in order to get by.  Be prepared to have a conversation with one of those terrorists (and you know who they are) and make them an offer to exit the business under a compromise agreement.  Talk to your legal advisers about a compromise agreement. If they haven’t been with you for 2 years yet then the law is much more in your favour.

In my 25 years in people management and leadership I’ve sadly come to terms with the fact that if values and beliefs differs, you’re never going to bring someone around to your way of thinking and trying to is far too costly in terms of team morale, your time, energy and sanity.

It sounds harsh to effectively say get rid but I know from experience that in fact you’re doing that team member a favour too.  They may not realise it to begin with because they see their association with you as a means of getting an income.  A settlement/compromise agreement will give them the financial means to take their time to look for an employer that fits their values and beliefs and when they do, they’ll find that they’re enjoying their job much better and begin to get real fulfilment from what they’re doing.

If you’d like some clarity, help or guidance with this let me know via the comments box.

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Shane Lukas – Author of Amazon #1 best seller What’s Next for Accountants; How to make the biggest threat facing the profession your biggest opportunity.

Article Source: Shane Lukas