Performance Requires More than Motivation and Ability

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People often think that for employees to perform well all they need are the appropriate ability and skills and the motivation to achieve great results. But there is a missing ingredient: opportunity. So says John Boudreau in a recent issue of Talent Management Magazine (p. 10). He is spot on. You can be well trained to build departmental sales and keen to get at it but if your boss, the Director of Sales, hogs all the promising clients and sales calls, you won’t have the opportunity to apply your skills and passion.

Many good employees jump to another employer because they are ready to get results but their current company won’t allow them to succeed in their job. The problem is not poor pay or lousy working conditions or lack of training. The problem is that management doesn’t first design a good job fit and then get out of the way and let their people’s performance soar.

This reminds me of a similar formula touted for us independent professional speakers. To thrive in this business, it is said, you work at the intersection point of three elements:

  1. Your expertise
  2. Your passion for the work or topic
  3. A viable market demand for the value you bring.

If 1 & 2 are in place but nobody wants what you have to offer, there is no opportunity for business to be transacted or a living to be made speaking.

So, look at your people and especially your best people. (You remember these, don’t you; they’re the ones with ability and motivation to put it into play.) Are you, their manager, making sure that there are ways in their current job for them to use apply accumulated experience, knowledge, and natural talent and create superior results? If not, they will become bored and feel unfulfilled…and they will leave!