• John Hightower

/ Paddlers, Passengers, Pirates

// PART 2

John Hightower


As leaders of organizations, it’s our role to work with our team members to achieve our organization’s goals. Our organization’s success is only possible when each individual employee is operating at their best. As we place our team members on this spectrum, we need to work diligently to reposition people within the organization. Failure to do this will at best limit the speed and success of the organization, and at its worst, sink the ship.

See if these steps could work in your organization. My guess is they probably can.


/ STEP 1

ORGANIZE YOUR TEAM AROUND THE CONCEPT OF “PADDLERS”, “PASSENGERS” AND “PIRATES”


To grow an organization, leaders should create common language around each of the three personas. Creating common definition allows organizations to:

  • Construct competency models

  • Design individual development plans

  • Catalog their employees to optimize performance

  • Build more self-aware employees


/ STEP 2

CLEARLY ARTICULATE WHAT BEING A PADDLER MEANS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION.


For our company, a Paddler:

  • Resonates with the vision and values

  • Develops key hard and soft skills

  • Desires to be a total team player (A great resource for the cultural alignment is a book called Ideal Team Player written by Patrick Lencioni.)

You might want to quickly note what each persona looks like in your organization.


/ STEP 3

PLACE EACH OF YOUR EMPLOYEES ON THE SPECTRUM.


Diagnosing your team and placing them on the spectrum will help you create a strategy to move them into a Paddler position.

Great organizations - Chick-fil-A, the Ritz Carlton, Southwest Airlines - understand that the best success is developing paddlers on our teams. Imagine what growth could be, what organizational health could be, what your team could be if we were all paddling together.


Check back next week for part three.