Most People are Almost Fits at Best

almost fit heads.jpg

Business problems are largely people problems. And, in the same vein, business is people.

Yes, you can automate. That’s easier than dealing with people. Machines, software and automation follows rules, logic and functionality.

But people don’t fit what the job usually requires. They are almost fits at best. They don’t come in the specific shape, size, function and consistency your jobs require.

This is why it is critical to gauge a person’s preferences and strengths. At least you will start with an understanding of the likely behaviors and bents that you can come to expect to see.

If your business has critical roles to fill and a lot of risk for non-performance, then evaluating a person’s inclinations is a small investment. It’s costly to discover the nature in a person further down the road and realize the almost fit you were hoping for is not even a fit at all.

I am not sure people change much. Most people are characteristic. When you talk about your friends, you don’t see them becoming a 180 of themselves. They behave consistently. So it is with the talent you recruit and manage. There’s a latitude to their growth and change, but not something dramatic altogether.

When it comes to getting work done – sales made, projects out the door, ideas that stick, etc. – you can lose a lot of money and time if your team members don’t fit what’s required.

It’s painful. And it’s real. I’ve heard the story repeatedly from business owners.

Expect most people are almost fits at best. But test to see how misaligned they are for the requirements you objectively have for your business. Hope is a poor strategy. A little foresight, process and quantitative evaluation can go a long way towards seeing if you have a close enough fit vs. someone far off the mark.

Can you be a better hirer of talent?

Do What You Are


When I find people unhappy in their work and listen to what’s dissatisfying them, the usual issue is that they are not doing what they are. It’s no secret most people hate their work. But why persist in misery when there is all this choice out there? You have one option. And then there are a ridiculous amount of options at your fingertips to move to.

But it does take strategy and intentionality. You have to be cognizant and articulate of who you are, how your brain works vs. those around you. There are things that you will excel at and things that will totally stress you out.

When you work within your makeup and groove, life and work gets easier and enjoyable. I know this because I have seen it firsthand so many times over many years working with so many clients and teams. It’s about alignment. And if you are not aligned, you simply struggle to bring your best. It’s stressful. And stress kills.

You can keep going the way you are, but something inside you tells you that things are not right. That’s your gut. Listening to your gut is good business. There’s a reason that voice is there.

What can you do?

  1. Get honest about whether you are happy or not doing what you do.
  2. Get clear and precise about who you are with a strengths test.
  3. Identify opportunities on LinkedIn and all the job sites out there to find what does fit your strengths.
  4. Take action and change towards what brings out your best.

Happiness is an indicator. It’s part of your gut, which again, is a valuable business barometer.

There are just too many good opportunities out there and you have so much freedom to go after it. Why waste time doing anything less than who you are?

Find Your Clues Pay Your Dues

different color clues

Want to know what you should do and do with everything you got?

Find your clues. Pay your dues.

That’s a message my wife recently heard from Jen Hatmaker in a speech to a large audience looking for direction.

It’s great advice to get on with the business of knowing what you should do. Finding your clues means knowing what you are good at and what your strengths are. Most people are simply guessing, but I will be the evidence is continually before you. Your clues keep showing up. There are things that are easy and valuable. Then there are things that are hard and not valuable.

The ones that are in-between: hard and valuable and easy and not valuable can confuse us.

When you see performers, athletes, politicians and everyone we see on media, they figured out what was valuable and easy to them. They had a special quality in that area. Then they got to work. They saw the clues and then paid the dues.

My first piece of business coaching advice is to stop guessing. Get a strengths test, know what is easy and stay away from what is hard.

Then figure out where your strengths are valued.

Then get to work and grind it out with happiness and consistency day in and day out.

We live in a world where being well-rounded is pretty overrated. Your school teachers, media elites and many well-meaning mentors lied to you. Well-rounded is not going to do much for you in a hypercompetitive world.

The world values and pays for sharp, not well-rounded. And your best bet is to figure out what comes easy and is valuable. You can waste a lot of energy and time playing outside of this framework.

Want to know where you should pay your dues and get a clue?

Let’s talk:

Strengths: Entrepreneurship And Sales People

The need for closure around a goal is a characteristic of high goal low detail people. Sales Profile High Goal People with this trait, to varying degrees, act with speed and decisiveness.  The need for closure is very high.   It is a common characteristic in professions such as sales and entrepreneurship.

Committing To More Than You Can Deliver

Internally, this type of person is restless.  They want to drive to action and decisions quickly.  Their asset is that they bring energy and movement to projects and work.  On a team, they will drive as a catalyst.

Depending on their cognitive score, they may use action to iterate and receive instant feedback through failure.

They are also not afraid to commit to more than they can personally deliver.  One of the assets of this person is that they are quite resourceful. They can fill needs with people, technology, or whatever is bookmarked in their arsenal of resources.  They get things done by bringing resources to the goal.  This is why they are not afraid to commit.

The blind spot is that this person can overcommit.  They may not assess resources for getting a goal done with consideration for what is realistic.  It is both common and a strain on teams that may be process and resource specific.  They are continually stretched with this person at the helm.

Living In Your Strengths

For the person who has a high goal, low detail strengths test profile, their fulfillment and advantage in life and business is to be involved in roles which allow them to move fast and change quickly.  Change is a good thing.  The tried and true can become wearisome.  They are meant for change.

In my business consulting with such people, I like to encourage them to recognize their blind spot.  They can move before things are ready or agreements are made.  I also encourage them to value their strengths.  They have an innate ability to get things done because of their high goal orientation.  This allows them to navigate with intuition on what is important and how to get to the goal.

Do you find yourself able to move forward with a high need for closure?  Or do you need details before you act?  Feel free to comment below.

Strengths And Their Influence Multiplier Effect

In consulting with people over thousands of hours, I have found that many people do not recognize their strengths. Instead, they focus on their weaknesses. There is typically a disparity in the attention and obsession of attending to the latter rather than building on their strengths.

Strengths tend to elude us.  Too often, we don’t value what we master.  We buy the myth that we can be good at everything if we work hard enough.  This is not true.  We are mediocre at best at many things because they are our weaknesses.  What comes natural is where we can capitalize.

Success Comes From Your Strengths

Successful people that are able to recognize and fully develop their strengths discover a multiplier effect.  It is what they influence others with.  For example, the cognitive score in your strengths test will reveal how you think.  How you think will be a strength for the kind of work which is best suited for you and the roles you will excel in.  You can game your life with this knowledge.  You will have greater influence by being in the right context and capacity.

Watching people who have figured out how to live fully into their natural strengths reveals their multiplier effects.  They rely on a team or a network to compensate for their blind spots while they shine and work effortlessly in their sweet spots.  Look at successful entrepreneurs, leaders, engineers, craftsman or any other professional excellent at their trade.  They work in their strengths area without friction.  They allow others to buttress them in the areas of their weaknesses.

The blind spot is to pursue too many fronts which is both elusive and unrealistic.  Weaknesses have a subtractive effect on your life.

What have you discovered about trying to make your weaknesses better?  Feel free to comment below.