So you’ve heard that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned her post this week … this got me thinking about this week’s tip.
Now, I’m not an expert in the ‘Secret Service business’ and this isn’t about the issues that led to her hiring or her resignation. However, there are leadership lessons to be learned.
She was given the position about 18 – months ago … and she was tasked, among other things, to change the culture of the secret service.
Changing cultures is a herculean task … it takes time, patience and persistence. It takes communication, training and leading by example. It takes relationship building, trust and it takes a vision for the desired culture. It takes some real special leadership skills. Then it takes more communication, training and patience.
The larger the organization, the more complex it is to change.
She was being held accountable for a number of incidents where her team ‘didn’t perform satisfactorily’.
The, ‘didn’t perform satisfactory’ part was the desired ‘culture change’ part. Unfortunately, this is another example of ‘you can delegate responsibility but you can’t delegate accountability’.
My leadership tip for you this week is to hire the person with the skills required to do the job that you need them to do.
This is about not promoting someone who simply doesn’t have the skill set to do the job that they’re being asked to do.
Many fail; they quit, get fired or hang around for years as bad bosses – bad leaders. Some examples:
- Great salesmen don’t automatically make great sales managers.
- Great workers don’t automatically make great supervisors.
- Great football / baseball / hockey players don’t make great coaches or general managers.
When succession planning or filling a position, be concerned first with the skills required to do the job … then look at the skills of the available candidates and find the best match. Supplement the new hire with training and support to be successful.
I want you to be an exceptional leader … hire the right skills and you will be on your way.