The employees that got me to where I am now are not the ones I need to get me to where I need to go. What do I do?

Congratulations! If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re already a step above your competition.

The trick here is to separate the person from the job. So often early employees are used to working in the scope of what the business needed during growth and survival modes. At that point you hired people you knew you could trust, and for their known qualities. Now that there’s stability in the business, their habits are old and don’t meet the organization’s current needs.

Down the road when the business is larger and has more people, you have to clearly define what that role is, rather than the person within the role. As the business matures and grows you have to be much more disciplined on having clearly defined job descriptions and making sure that that person fits in the right job description.

This is often a process of trial and error, but as time goes on you can (and should) get better and better at understanding the person’s strengths and weaknesses – this could be personality tests to better understand how they interact with team members, and then evaluating if they are delivering on their measurables and accountables.

Back in to it this way: approach the role as a completely new position seeking a completely new employee. Create a job description around the duties and responsibilities within that role and evaluate if you would hire that long-term employee in this role based on their strengths and weaknesses, how they interact with team members, and delivering on measurables.

This is also probably a time to consider putting processes and systems in place like Entrepreneurial Operating System for Small Businesses (EOS) or Gazelles’ Rockefeller Habits.

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