Peo­ple are at the foun­da­tion of ev­ery great busi­ness. In or­der for a team to achieve the com­pany’s vision, the team must be sur­rounded with truly great peo­ple, top to bot­tom through­out the com­pany.

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Many lead­er­ship teams know this, but they aren’t aligned on how to build a great team. Things quickly get muddy when it comes to what ac­tion to take, how to ex­e­cute it, and when. In a sur­vey of busi­ness own­ers, 82% cited peo­ple is­sues as their num­ber one frus­tra­tion.

That’s be­cause most teams haven’t taken the time to get crys­tal clear on their unique def­i­ni­tion of what it means to be a “great per­son” for their com­pany. And if they have a gen­eral idea of what a “great per­son” looks like for their team, then the next typ­i­cal chal­lenge is that they aren’t con­sis­tent in ap­ply­ing that def­i­ni­tion to ev­ery role in the com­pany.

As a re­sult, a leader can feel like they have 22 dif­fer­ent peo­ple is­sues at any given mo­ment. And that is an ex­tremely over­whelm­ing feel­ing.

How do you over­come this? By un­der­stand­ing that at the root, there are only 2 peo­ple is­sues, not 22. The En­tre­pre­neur­ial Op­er­at­ing Sys­tem® (EOS®) boils down all of the symp­to­matic peo­ple prob­lems you have into two root is­sues: right per­son, wrong seat or wrong per­son, right seat.


“Right per­son” means that your em­ployee fits into your cul­ture. They truly care about what you care about. You love them. They share your unique core val­ues.

“Wrong seat” means that the roles you expect them to fill aren’t a right fit for that per­son. They aren’t a rock star for the seat they’re oc­cu­py­ing. Maybe they were at one time, but some­thing has changed. Per­haps your com­pany has grown or adapted in some way where it re­quires dif­fer­ent skills and abil­i­ties than it did be­fore. And now they may not be able to un­der­stand what the com­pany needs from their po­si­tion, they may no longer want the po­si­tion, or they may not have what it takes to do what the com­pany needs them to do.


When some­one is the right per­son who shares your val­ues, you can of­ten look through­out the com­pany to find a dif­fer­ent seat that’s a bet­ter fit for their tal­ents and abil­i­ties. The chal­lenge is when there is no seat or po­si­tion avail­able for them. This is when you’ll face a tough de­ci­sion, and ul­ti­mately you’ll have to let them go.

A de­ci­sion like this is sim­ple, but never easy. Al­ways keep the greater good of the com­pany in mind when faced with a tough de­ci­sion like this.


“Wrong per­son” means that they re­ally don’t fit into your cul­ture. They don’t share your core val­ues. Or it feels like they’re “hot and cold” all the time—some­times they feel like a fit, whilst other be­hav­iors show oth­er­wise. For some of these peo­ple, they act one way in front of their boss, but they act an­other way when the boss isn’t around. These peo­ple are in­con­sis­tent at best. And that’s the nice way of putting it.

“Right seat” means that this per­son is ex­tremely tal­ented. They’re very skilled at what you expect them to do, day in and day out. They may even be one of the top per­form­ers for their role in the com­pany. They un­der­stand the big­ger pic­ture of what they need to per­form, they want to do it, and they have what it takes to get it done.


When some­one is the wrong per­son, they’re a can­cer to your or­gan­i­sa­tion. Even if you don’t see it on a day-to-day ba­sis, they will kill your cul­ture long term. Tol­er­at­ing them in your or­gan­i­sa­tion will cause great peo­ple in your com­pany to be­come de­mo­ti­vated. They won’t work as hard when they see the poor be­hav­ior of the wrong per­son is tol­er­ated, and ul­ti­mately they will leave your or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The chal­lenge is that this per­son is in the right seat—and likely one of your top pro­duc­ers. You may feel like you’ve got to keep them, oth­er­wise your com­pany will in­stantly lose rev­enue or profit. Ul­ti­mately, keep­ing the wrong per­son will do more dam­age to the com­pany over the long term. They may put the rep­u­ta­tion of the com­pany in ques­tion, other key peo­ple will leave, and too much time and en­ergy will be spent putting out fires that this per­son caused. Al­ways keep the greater good of the com­pany in mind when faced with a tough de­ci­sion like this.


No com­pany is per­fect, but it is pos­si­ble to get aligned with your team and over­come these two peo­ple is­sues. Get clear about your com­pany’s unique def­i­ni­tion of Right Peo­ple, Right Seats. It will sim­plify your life, it will save you time, and it will make your busi­ness more ef­fec­tive, fun, and prof­itable.

For more in­for­ma­tion about how the En­tre­pre­neur­ial Op­er­at­ing Sys­tem can help your busi­ness gain trac­tion, visit www.eosworld­wide. com/bfm.

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