#8 Not Being The Best At Everything

Hey there,


This one is about eavesdropping.

I was sitting in a café once, drinking coffee on a beautiful afternoon. Normally, I would pass my time reading something or replying to mails and messages but on the very rare occasion, someone was speaking loudly, I would drop everything and listen intently.

This is one of those conversations. Sorry, not sorry.

“Yeah, I just got done with that. On my way back, grabbing a coffee. That’s exactly the reason I’m heading right to the office. Listen, the employee turnover is increasing. I know, I know there has been a boost in sales but the cost of losing good employees will affect us in the long term.

This business, it’s like running a restaurant. Everyone has to be functioning at their highest level but that can’t happen with people changing roles, responsibilities, god knows what else, that often. Look at Josh. Josh was brilliant. He was doing well in sales. What made you shift him to HR? He’s a talker, he needs to be out there. No, that’s precisely why I’m coming to the office. Listen, Josh wasn’t hired to be an expert on everything in the business.

It’s like asking a waiter to become a chef. He needs to be out there. You keep switching people, they’ll need some time to learn things all over again. Instead let them go on doing their best in whatever we’ve employed them for. What’s that? And how do you know he’ll be good at HR? That’s not the point. We’re not rotating the right employees to find the perfect fit. We already have perfect fits. You’ve shuffled them around a bit.

Is Josh performing well? Exactly my point. And he will take time but that’s time that we will lose while he’s learning. Josh made us a sale of 30,000 in the previous month. And that was only his 3rd month with us. We’re losing 1,000 every day while he’s retraining in HR. Do you get what I’m saying? Good. Let’s go over that once I’m back. Yeah, bye, bye.”

I learnt something that day. Running a business meant everyone being the best at their jobs, not being the best at everything in the organisation. Powerful, subtle, simple yet so difficult. Amazing.

And then I went to back to replying to mails and messages.

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