Mike Moreau
July 19, 2012

I was on the way home from a Pro.file training session I’d delivered; I boarded the plane, found my seat and buckled up. The gentleman beside me was trying desperately to finish his phone call before a flight attendant could catch him and politely ask him to put the phone away. Well this poor guy got caught! The flight attendant leaned over me, got in his face and started shooting these quick “cut out the call” signs with her hand. My first thought was whoa, a little in your face compared to the norm. Next she moved on to the person behind me rudely telling him to get his bag under the seat so it wouldn’t end up in someone’s lap during the flight. As she moved through the cabin you could start to hear the snickers and comments coming from other passengers about her aggressiveness. Finally she made it to the back and announced to the plane that if people didn’t get off their phones and laptops that she wouldn’t be closing the door and the plane would be grounded. This wasn’t just a bad hair day for this flight attendant; it was a huge misalignment in roles!

So how often does this happen in your organization? Someone who’s probably a good person has been placed in a role that doesn’t fit them. You’re hopefully not seeing this drastic an example but the impact of having this person in the role has no doubt cost this airline in some way I’m sure. This incident would have been all over twitter if people wouldn’t have been so afraid to get caught typing!

The example I’ve used is an extreme one that someone should have done something about by the time I had my experience. My point is I think we’ve all got people that aren’t really in a role that best suits them. They’re not as happy as they could be and we’re certainly not seeing the performance we need from the role. I’m a huge proponent of hiring for fit and aligning people in work where they’ll self-propel due to their motivation to naturally do the work. Based on my experience doing the work that I do I also believe most companies (and individuals) think they’re better at this then they really are.

Mike Moreau