For The Best Teams, Put Aces In Their Places


You have an organization of 100 people filling 100 positions.

Are they the best people for those jobs? Or better yet, are they the best jobs for your people?

What if those people were evaluated to find their best skills, then matched with the roles best suited for them? How much more effective would they be? More engaged? More committed?

Consider how the fortunes of these organizations turned out after they put these people into roles more suited for them:

  • Kat Cole, CEO of Cinnabon, who was recruited internally from waitress to Corporate Trainer at Hooters
  • Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees baseball team, a decent pitcher turned Hall Of Fame Slugger
  • Darwin Smith, Kimberly-Clark’s lawyer who was made CEO, who took the company into the best growth period in their history
  • Phil Collins of the band Genesis, drummer who was given a chance to be their new lead vocalist and took the band to new success

Think for a moment about your current needs and who you have filling those roles. Then ask the following questions:

  • What skill sets does this person have?
  • What skill sets are needed in roles in the organization?
  • Where would this person best fit in – their current role or another?
  • Where should her/his talent take them in their career with our company?

Each of your people are “aces” in one role or another – they each have a unique talent they bring to the team that matches a need and role within that team. Your job is to find what each person’s strong skills are and place the needs and opportunities within the organization in their hands.

If you have 100 people all working in adequate roles suited for them, you can expect a certain level of success. But when you put your “aces in their places”, you catapult the performance of your team, your organization, to unexpected levels. That’s why sports teams shuffle players from offense to special teams and industries such as restaurants and factories cross-train. When you can have your best people in your best spots, they develop into stronger performers with more commitment. This in turn positively impact the workplace when co-workers know their teammates can pull strongly on the rope beside them, instead of being a drag factor.

A leader who puts their “aces in their places” knows the value of their people, the vision of the company, and endeavors to bring out the best in both. The average leader fills positions based on need and experience; a savvy talent-minded leader matches skills with opportunity.

When you want to make a difference to your people, and to your customers, you’ll give them the best spots for their talents to shine.

(image: belmontabbeycollege)

About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on April.13.2016, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Paul, thanks. I’ll be thinking about “aces in their places” today. Great phrase. Thanks. Mike…


  2. Love the examples Paul! Very inspiring!


  3. Love the examples Paul! Very inspiring!


  4. I am an employee at McDonalds and since they brought this in I’ve been stuck in the same position. Rather repetitive and boring if you ask me. I know it allows things to run a lot more smoothly and quickly but still…


    • Thanks Ty. While this post focuses on getting the right fit jobs for people to maximize their skill, that alone does not make a great workplace.
      Cross training and development of people and their skills makes a stronger employee base and an even stronger organization.


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