The 7-T Success System
In the first blog of this series, I introduced the 7-T Success System, an easy-to-use guide for leaders at all levels of the organization, from supervisor to CEO. As a reminder, the seven T’s are:
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
The 7-T Success System is designed as a guide for those who have the desire and drive to become a leader who inspires others to work toward a common goal. The 7-T Success System provides a comprehensive framework to help leaders identify the right things to focus on and provides a roadmap for doing those things in the right way. The 7-T Success System helps employees at all levels identify what comprises great leadership, how to achieve it, and how to leverage it to drive accomplishment and build high-performing teams.
In the last blog, we focused on the first T – TARGETS and discussed the importance of setting targets for the organization or team. Each of the other Ts should be aligned with, and support, your TARGETS. If they aren’t, either your targets or the Ts need adjusted (re-aligned). The first step to achieving your TARGETS is to endure you have the right TALENT in your organization. It is your organization’s Talent (people) who drive each of the 7-T’s.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
With Targets in place, a leader needs a team that works together to achieve those goals. Leaders and core teams also require support. All of these people comprise the Talent within your organization, along with the prospective employees you may want to join your company. The elements within the Talent component include your processes for identifying the type of talent you need to attract and retain, including the right skill sets, experience and attitude.
Once talent is within your organization, you need to develop it, improving knowledge and skills by creating an environment in which team members can thrive, learn and see paths for advancement. You must also know how to evaluate and phase out weak links. Team members who don’t perform need to be replaced by those who can and will. Talent may be the most important T. With the right Talent in place, a leader’s chances of success are greatly improved. The opposite is true as well. People are one of the greatest differentiators in organizational accomplishment. Without a strong, capable team, the most well-designed strategies will fail.
“You Win With People.” – Woody Hayes
In his 20 years as head coach at “The” Ohio State University, Woody Hayes’ teams won 250 games, eight Big Ten Championships and three national championships. His teams produced 88 All-American players, 56 NFL players and three Heisman Trophy winners. Following his tenure as head coach, a reporter asked him what the key was to his success on the field. His answer was incredibly simple. “Ninety percent of the time we had better athletes than the other team.” In his book, You Win with People, Coach Hayes noted that the most important achievements in life, business and sports are accomplished by, and dependent on, people. One of his basic premises is that the teams with the most talented, skilled athletes win more often than not, sometimes in spite of other factors including strategy, practice, coaching or facilities.
Having great people on your team certainly gives you a better chance of success. In fact, the better your talent, the more successful you will be executing the 7-T Success System. Show me two teams that are working the 7-T’s and I’ll guarantee that the team with the most talented people will see better results.
“Talent is indispensable, although it is ‘always’ replaceable. Just remember the simple rules concerning talent: Identify It. Hire It. Nurture It. Reward It. Protect It. And when the time comes, Fire It.” – Felix Dennis
Talent is about having the right people I the right place at the right time. When selecting people to join your organization (or team), it is important to evaluate candidates not only for their skills, but also their attitude, approach to challenges and cultural fit potential. Once you have hired your talent, it is important to cultivate and nurture them. Demonstrate confidence in your talent by delegating meaningful work to help them grow. As your employees grow, do not be intimidated by greatness. Hire people you will learn from as they learn from you. Leverage your high performing employees to mentor others, expand their leadership skills and elevate the team.
Addressing the Talent component of your organization is more than simply hiring great people. Having the right people is just the first step. Having those people in the right positions (or places) is also critical. And finally, having them in the right places at the right time is also necessary for maximizing their value. For example, if you’re a contact center leader, you not only need to hire quality frontline employees, you need them doing the work that best matches their skill sets (e.g, customer service vs. sales, calls vs. chat or both, etc.). And finally, if you don’t have them scheduled properly (at the right time), then your services levels will suffer. The same is true for every position in your organization. You need to have the right people, in the right places at the right times.
Having the right people sometimes means eliminating the wrong people. You have to assume you won’t be 100% perfect when hiring your talent, which means that some of your hires will end up being wrong for the job. The worst thing you can do is keep those people in the organization. It’s not good for them or for your organization. Managing poor fits out of your organization is “addition by subtraction”.
These are just a few examples of what to look for when evaluating the Talent component of your organization, whether you’re leading a Fortune 500 company or a contact center team of 20 agents. Your success starts with the talent.
Superior talent can be up to 8x more productive than average workers. (dynamicsignal.com, 2020)
Top performers are often undervalued by the organization, even if you are already paying them more. Many studies have found the difference in “value” between an organization’s best performers and worst averages around 300%. Are you paying your top performers 300% more than your worst? Is the cost of their benefits and other non-direct compensation more (no). The point here is to ensure you take care of your top performers, otherwise they will leave a huge value void and likely help your competition gain on you.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
If you are already a leader, or are aspiring leader, you do not want to simply manage your team or organization; you want to lead it and build a winning team. The fact that you’ve taken the time to read this blog means you’re ready to accelerate your organization’s success journey and demonstrate your value as a leader. The 7-T Success System can help you accomplish that. Let’s go, leaders!
Casey Kostecka is an award-winning thought leader and expert in sales, customer experience management and contact center operations within BPO/outsourcing, healthcare, travel/hospitality, and government arenas. His proven track record in leading $500M+ organizations to record-breaking growth and profitability makes him a sought-after speaker and consultant. Casey’s extensive experience with process engineering, leadership cultivation, and team and customer engagement led him to develop unique, highly effective tools. Casey is the founder of TouchPoint One and its award-winning ACUITYTM Performance Management System, multiple proprietary gamification applications, and the 7-T Success System™ are all of which are employed by Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. Learn more about his work at www.touchpointone.com and www.7TSuccess.com.