Limited greatness: Why even some of the most talented workers can fail!

My neighbor’s a natural ─ arguably a genius ─ whether he’s fixing leaks, painting walls or wiring complex electronic devices. Most people correctly assume he knows everything there is to know about repairing houses, and many have encouraged him to start his own home inspection business. But for him to do so would probably prove disastrous.

The reality is that my gifted friend knows very little about the entrepreneurial world. He’s not the least bit interested in, or adept at, marketing to prospective members, managing daily operations, making major decisions for others or dealing with the public in general. While his talents are immense, he can’t do it all ─ and he knows it.

Some personalities are simply more geared than others to specific jobs. Not everyone is comfortable networking. Not everyone is looking to lead or stand out in the crowd.

The same holds true for professionals in the financial industry.

Many are called upon to establish relationships with potential members within their community in order to develop commercial accounts or gain new members. However, the irony is that because of the nature of finance, i.e. auditing, accounting and credit or trust management, the majority of financial professionals are introspective, analytical individuals ─ the very people who often have little or no desire to be in the spotlight. As a result, networking, social engagements, speaking presentations and anything that seems even remotely related to sales often fall primarily on the shoulders of a branch manager or VP who has already learned how to schmooze and close deals

Can credit unions accomplish their growth-oriented goals without working one leader to death? Yes! And the best way to do so is to hire some staff members who clearly display the traits of bona fide entrepreneurs. These people are win-driven and assertive. They engage in easy conversation but will seem primarily interested in meeting their own goals and furthering their own agenda. Those who are forceful, confident, resilient, and outgoing usually perform well in business development roles.

If you’re looking to increase business, use these entrepreneurial personalities to head up a team of skilled technical advisors. These typically mild-mannered people are the ones who know, better than anyone else, how to connect all the dots of an incomplete financial picture, offer credible advice, and answer a skeptical prospect’s specific questions.

Each member of your staff has unique abilities that can, and should, be used to your advantage; and, like my neighbor, each one also has some shortfalls!

Employers need to beware of hiring a person who is socially poised, but not really win-driven. Faux sales personalities are strong, confident networkers, but they are usually reluctant to push hard enough to secure business commitments and finalize deals.

They seem assertive mainly because of their social self-confidence. They speak up and are quick to talk about their objectives, hopes, goals and plans. Most are impressive. However, careful examination may reveal that while these workers are indeed gifted on a social level, they’re also prone to being all talk and no action. They’re afraid to ask for the order.

There are ways to pinpoint the true strengths and weaknesses of potential employees. Behavioral assessments, aptitude tests and background checks are a few of the tools commonly used to help determine an applicant’s overall suitability to a job. While all kinds of evaluations exist, The Omnia Profile is an ideal way to measure workplace preferences and behavior, and help people uncover their motivational hot and cold buttons.

The Omnia Profile measures not only how an employee might perform a job, but also how he or she might fit in with managers and co-workers. Workplace incompatibility, unlike job incompatibility, cannot be eradicated by intense coaching or training. People either get along with their colleagues, mesh with their environment, or they don’t.

Of course, resumes and interviews provide some information as well, but keep in mind that supposed “facts” can be stretched and alleged “truths” distorted. At least 30 to 40 percent of all job applications and resumes include some false claims or inflated assertions!

When people must assume responsibilities requiring traits they lack, business development for example, problems will arise. Technical minds can dazzle others with their expertise, delve into problems and analyze the bottom line, but they may not be convincing speakers or strong rapport builders.

When workers are made to feel inept, they often choose to leave their jobs. And when they are perceived as inept, they may be asked to leave.

While not everyone knows his or her limitations, logic dictates that a person hired to be a cautious, systematic analytic, is likely to have trouble initiating or closing business development calls.

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses ... Web: Details

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