So, this is important and I want you to pay attention. Pretty deep stuff here. The other day I was browsing the aisles of Home Depot with a short list of items needed to pick up for minor projects and just every day home maintenance type-activity.. when I had a bit of a “moment.” The last item on my list to explore was microwaves. Left for last because it’s kind of a “big” item compared to all the little stuff I was shopping for. You see, the turntable on our home microwave had stopped turning about a week earlier, and despite my efforts to explore DIY fixes, I remained unconvinced that I’d be able to fix this issue. So, I had measured the unit we have and wanted to begin researching replacement options. (don’t worry I intended to shop around…sheesh.)
When I found a unit that was the right color and size dimensions, I started to explore the other specifics. Price and features. All of the sudden, one of the many buttons on the face of the oven jumped out at me like a special effect in a bad 3-d movie. (you know, the kind where you need to wear special glasses back when we went to movie theatres.) “Turntable On/Off” What????! “Turntable On/Off” You’ve got to be kidding me. Could OUR oven at home possibly have such a silly button? Why in the world would you ever turn off the turntable? Don’t we always want “even heating” of a hearty microwave meal…or reheated cup of coffee/tea? Could this be a sign that the fix was right in front of my eyes? No way. So….after paying at the self-checkout (with kind help from the orange-aproned HD employee) I drove home calmly and safely (Mom) but with anticipation. As I placed my bag of light bulbs, sand paper and bath caulk on the dining room table…I knew the answer before even walking into the kitchen. Shaking my head with a smile I looked up at the microwave….and THERE….just above eye level, a tiny bit to the right…a smidge above the “start” button.. was the “turntable on/off” button. My nephew who had been in the house recently, must have hit it by accident when hitting the “pizza” button. So I pressed the button, hit start and presto that sucker started turning again! Who knew? Problem solved!
So what in the heck does this have to do with your team? When building a team (bringing on new members) or developing your team (providing upward mobility/job enhancement opportunities for existing team-mates) it’s inherent for those of us who are leaders to find the hidden talents that never made it onto the resume, dig into those areas that your most important assets (people) have been longing to develop or learn. Do you need someone to really juice up your social media engagement and effectiveness? There is likely already someone on your team who has the chops to do this, who LOVES doing this task already! Does your receptionist want to learn a new book-keeping platform, or social media app that can help your organization? If the answer is yes, do it! A modest investment of time and/or financial resources to train your existing team member will pay dividends many times over down the road because you already know this employee is a valuable, enthused and engaged team member. No need to bring in outside talent…which can be a crap-shoot as you know. Everybody wins in this scenario. The organization, your employee…you. I know you already know this to be true…but sometimes we need a little reminder.
Assignment for you: Find the “turntable on/off” button at your workplace. What hidden gem is right in front of your face…?