While exploring a tourist site in Malaysia recently I came upon a modern day assembly line. I say ‘modern day’ only because it happened recently. Truthfully, the assembly line was antiquated and it had no machines or technology.
The goal for this 10-man team was to take a pile of old bricks – thousands of old bricks and move them from an outside location, down some stairs to an inside location where they could be re-purposed into a new structure or be a part of a new wall.
Eight men all had the same job, catching the brick that was thrown to them and tossing it to the next man. The other two guys had slightly different responsibilities. The first guy in line had to grab a brick from the enormous pile and toss it to guy #2.
Number two passed it to #3 and so on until it got to guy #10. He received the tossed brick from #9 and had to place it in a semi-neat pile so that the bricklayer could efficiently grab it and construct the wall. (When he eventually decided to get there).
Admittedly it is probably not the most exciting job in the world – BUT – I truly admired these men for – WORKING! They were doing whatever it took to feed their families and create an income. That is always something to be admired.
Their team duties, while fairly simple, had to be executed flawlessly and efficiently or someone could get hurt or even seriously injured. They worked in synchronicity and each one knew the eventual outcome of their task, both individually and as a group.
Catch the brick / Throw the brick / Build a wall.
The 11th person on the team, the bricklayer, was not needed until the ten-person team had done their magic. Typically, the 11th person would get paid little more for their skillset.
Remuneration is what sometimes has teams get ‘out of alignment’. The truth is, in business, different jobs have different pay grades. The bricklayer gets more than the brick-tosser. Lots of people can toss a brick – not everyone can lay a brick efficiently and safely.
The person who drew up the plans for the wall and calculated the load bearing weight is most likely paid more than the bricklayer. It’s how business works. The more skills you have and – more importantly – the way you employ your skills will determine your pay. So many people are extremely talented but they are not using their God-given skills to the maximum so they end up getting paid less than they are worth.
I’ll bet you anything that brick-catcher #10 was paying close attention to the bricklayer’s efforts. The more he can absorb from watching and learning what the bricklayer is doing, the more chances he has to make himself more valuable to the team. The more value you bring, the more you earn.
How do you know if your team members are in the right jobs? The simple answer is to try them out. Give them a fair shot at a new opportunity. We do this all the time at Black Card Books. We always want people to grow and expand and have opportunity for advancement.
It shows the team that there are always possibilities to grow with our company.
Sometimes you will have a team member who loves the vision but they are not suited for a specific job. We have a saying at Black Card Books for team members like that:
They are on the right bus – but in the wrong seat! If we like the team member we find a new seat for them. You always want to keep good people. Not everyone can drive the bus!
It’s how we have grown to over 170 employees in less than a decade!
I like what my friend, Barry Spilchuk, says about team and skill sets:
IF IT’S NOT MY GENIUS – IT’S NOT MY JOB!
My particular GENIUS is BOOK CREATION, TITLES and SALES. All the other jobs in our company are done by other people, who’s GENIUS it is to handle the tasks that match their skill sets and heart sets.
Here’s a BIG CONFESSION that will help you grow your business as large as you wish –
I did not hire the other 169 people in our company. I hired ONE!
J.G. Francouer is my dear friend and the CEO of Black Card Books. I asked him to invoke his GENIUS on our company – which consisted of just the two of us less than ten years ago.
Regarding senior staff additions, of course I had a say, but I let J.G. work his GENIUS.
In simple terms – this freed me up to do mine!
As we started to experience hyper-growth, J.G. and I hired Deborah Turton to build our international team, organize workflow and get the right people in the right jobs.
Why did we hire Deb? Simple answer if you’ve been paying attention…
THE SKILLS WE NEEDED MATCHED DEBORAH’S GENIUS!!!
Deborah and J.G. have built our company and ensured that we have done it harmoniously and in a family way. I want to commend them on using their collective GENIUS to create a family based culture even though everyone works out of their home and we are spread across 11 different countries!
DO YOU WANT YOUR DREAM TO WORK? Concentrate on your GENIUS and build your team based on THEIR skill sets and heart sets. That means, they love what they do and it is most likely that they are working in their GENIUS zones!
Do what you love, love what you do, and let others help you and I’ll see you in the Winner’s Circle!