A Performance “Tail”

A Performance “Tail”

Anyone who knows me knows I love dogs. I get many shares of dog videos. But why am I posting this dog agility video here?

As I watched this one, it hit me that it is a great metaphor that carries a lesson I’d like to share with you about something I see far too often. You probably do, too.

Look at this poor guy in the video, dutifully lumbering through these hurdles. Oh sure, he’ll get through it eventually with enough coaxing. And sympathetic people will applaud his efforts. But because his unique qualities and abilities aren’t suitably matched to the demands of the task at hand,  we don’t get excited like when a Sheltie or some other breed takes to this challenge. We aren’t moved to ‘oohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ as we watch this performance; we are left only knowing what this fella isn’t cut out for. And the saddest thing?  We’ll draw conclusions about him based on bad info. We regard him as undesirable or unfit because we don’t see the attributes he does have and how they can deliver if given the right task.

That’s what I learned from this  video and here are the questions it brought to mind:

  • How many times do we select, hire, or promote by ‘mis-pairing’  a person to a role or a leader to team and then wonder why we don’t have happy, engaged people and high performing organizations?
  • How hard does a business work to surface what it really takes to succeed in a role?
  • How often do people succeed in acing the interview, get the job then lose it because they can’t sustain doing what is unnatural but required in the job?

Here’s a scarier one for parents or teachers reading this blog.

How often do we urge our children or other young people to pursue something which is out of balance with their unique abilities, interests, motivations and talents?

Assessing, uncovering  and understanding the natural talent, strengths, ability and values of people. Understanding the demands and expectations of work and leadership. Properly pairing and helping to develop these to create engaged, high performing lives and organizations. That’s the work of Luttinger Associates and we work doggedly to do it well.

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