How to work out who to keep on the team
Strategic Issues

How to work out who to keep on the team

February 28, 2014

by Tony Vidler

one of the toughest areas of practice management is building the right team for your customers, and to achieve your business goals.

It is inevitable that at some time you will get hiring decisions wrong….and sometimes firing decisions wrong too.

More often than not the decision on whether to keep someone on the team is driven by performance alone – a relatively one-dimensional assessment of someone’s ability to contribute.  It IS an important factor – one of the two essential decision making points in fact. But it must be kept in perspective – it is only one of the two key decision points.

The second and equally important area to consider when building the team, even one focussed on high performance, is character.  Someone with the right values and right character, but with poor performance in their current position is well worth working on.  Someone with high performance but poor character is well worth letting go.

That’s right….let go of a high performer if they have poor character.

Take it from someone who has learned the hard way, not all high performers are good for your business. Character eventually shows through, particularly when they are under stress or external pressures.  Poor character combined with high pressure makes high performers dangerous liabilities.

The following matrix succintly captures who to let go of in the team, and who you should definitely keep – and who is worth persisting with.


If you are trying to build a high performance team for your business you will find that the essential ingredient over the long haul is getting people of the right character working in your business.

I have hired people as advisers, and later converted them to excellent operations or admin staff.  Because they were good people with great attributes and who contributed strongly to the performance of the business.  I had just hired them for the wrong job to begin with – which is my error as a manager, not their fault as a person.

Running a professional practice has been described before as “running an adult day care centre” and there is a touch of truth in it.  A practice runs on people, and it is run by people.  People have private life stresses and issues that flow into the workplace, and people have good and bad days for all sorts of reasons.

Not surprisingly, fluctuating performance is to be expected in a team of people.  So performance alone is an inadequate measure of a persons worth to the practice.

When trying to build a fabulous team, and working out who to keep on the time, spend more time considering character than performance.  Character is actually a heck of a lot more important in the long run.

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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