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Written by Dean Breyley



When was the last time you asked yourself: “Is everyone on my team in the right seat?”.

To paraphrase Jim Collins from his book ‘Good to Great’, making sure that you have the ‘Right People’ (Core Values Fit), in the ‘Right Seats’ (Job Roles), is fundamental to the success and growth of your company. Having any number of people in the wrong roles is a defining factor of whether any business grows or stalls in the long term.

How do you know if someone is in the right seat?

You may have inherited, hired or even promoted people into your team, only to get the feeling that they don’t have what it takes to be successful and deliver results. You may get feedback that evidences your feelings, and yet perhaps you are so invested by way of time and energy to make this relationship work, that you hesitate to act upon it – hoping that things will take care of themselves. Ultimately, we owe it to the company and to that person to make a change.

Get it? Want it? Capacity to do it?

‘GWC™ is a tool from The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), that enables leaders to solve this issue quickly and objectively. The tool simply requires you to ask three questions of your people: 1). Do they Get it? 2). Do they Want it? and 3). Do they have the Capacity to do it? – with the answer to each being a non-negotiable Yes or No –“kind of” is not an option! When you answer these questions openly and honestly, if any one of the three questions are a No, then that person is in the wrong seat. It’s a very powerful exercise that can highlight the real issues a company may be facing.

“Do they Get it” is about a person having a deep, meaningful understanding of the seat they have been hired for. When someone gets it, they have that intuitive feel, the natural aptitude for understanding what is required to deliver. A No simply means that this position isn’t suitable for them and the company to get what it wants, and it’s time to find someone else for this seat.

“Do they Want It” is about whether the work positively motivates them on a daily basis. Can they bring their whole self to the game every day, over and over again, with enough energy to move them and the company forward at the pace you require? If this work isn’t what they truly want to do, they may find a way to do other things.

“Capacity to do it” is four-fold. Do they have the mental, emotional, physical, and time capacity to do the job – and do it well? Mental capacity relates to their abilities and knowledge. Emotional capacity is their understanding of how ‘what they do’ impacts others. Physical Capacity relates to the amount of endurance and dexterity that is required for the seat. Time capacity is tied to the amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds the seat will take. Capacity is the only one of the 3 GWC questions that can be worked on – if the business is prepared to invest the effort in doing so.

Leaders Need To Take Action

When people don’t GWC their seat, they may be self-aware and yet choose to suffer in silence until it gets so painful that they leave or are pushed out. As a leader, doing the difficult work and helping your people to make the move to a ‘Right Seat’ could be the difference that makes a difference for all. So, thinking about your people right now, is anyone sitting in a seat who doesn’t truly get, want, or have the capacity for what they do? If so, then what would be the impact to them, to you, and to the company, if you made one people move this quarter?

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