The higher up in an organization you move, the easier it is to lose sight of the simple things that make an organization run… Or that make a person into leadership material.
Think about a person entering their first job. They’re not prepared to lead. They may not even be prepared for the job at hand.
However, they’re able to show up on time. They’re able to wear the correct uniform. And they have their name tag on.
Those are simple things. They’re also wins and something you can build upon.
Build Upon The Simple
In her book Crush Your Career, Dee Ann Turner mentions finding your first job. How things like showing up on time, wearing the proper uniform, and having your name tag on are the basics. She also mentions you can build on them.
Starting with the basics, you can then expect a person to learn more complicated skills. As Dee Ann Turner mentioned, these skills could be learning how to follow directions, communicate with coworkers and the boss, and respond appropriately to customers.
These probably sound super simple to you. And they are.
However, these are the simple skills you must master before you can build more complex skills.
Imagine finding someone who looks like a great candidate only to discover they don’t have the basic skills mastered. The new employee fails to show up on time, they’re unwilling to wear a uniform, and they refuse to wear a nametag.
This can cause immense issues not only for the employee but for the team in general.
Failing to show up on time (in a position where their presence is required) can compromise other team members. They have to step up and cover for them while still doing their work.
Or… if they fail to wear a uniform, the customers they serve on the front line can be confused about whether or not they work there. This can create a situation where the customer has to seek someone out.
Now, as they grow and show that they have mastered the simple, these simple skills can be developed. You can help the team member understand the importance of better communication, getting along with peers, and engaging customers.
Not only that, you continue to build upon those skills. You can help your employees learn how to lead others (because they’ve led themselves), build teams, and get things done right. It’s all dependent upon those first, few simple skills.
Don’t ignore the simple skills when you’re looking to hire someone new.
The simple skills will get things taken care of. The more complicated skills can be cultivated and they will help the organization grow and thrive.
However, without the simple skills, the complicated skills will be less impactful.
Remember, work on the simple, then grow the complicated skills.