Leaders need an awareness of “chemistry” to be at their best. Those who are mindful of this have a distinct advantage over those who are unaware of (or unwilling to notice) it.
Whether you're managing a team, merging / acquiring, hiring, coaching performance, or resolving a conflict, you know where chemistry, or “a good fit,” is present or absent, whether or not you choose to listen to that awareness.
Ignore it and you miss one of the most important pieces of information for any leader -- a bad fit can mean a big headache.
A key potential hire on your leadership team can have the academic background, training, experience, credentials, and recommendations, but still be a bad fit, something only you, the leader, can know. Use it / master it, know how it feels when it’s missing (and manage through its absence), and it’s a great ally in your success.I see its impact on leaders and organizations every day.
For example, have you ever had a time when you, your job, your boss, and the organization were a great fit for each other? Now think about a bad fit in your professional history. How did that work out? Were you aware of it? Did you actively manage through it?
Consider asking yourself the following “fit” questions, and see what you notice:
- Are my role and this organization a great fit for me? If not, what’s needed?
- Does my leadership team have great chemistry? If not, what needs to be done about it?
- As I reflect on the candidates for an open position, what’s the fit factor (high, medium, or low) for each one?
- What, if any, are the chemistry problems between our firm and the company we’re planning on acquiring / selling to?
- Who on my team is simply a bad fit, and what needs to be done about it?
Seeking a good fit is an outstanding way to hire, acquire, resolve issues, and promote – and ignoring or glossing over a bad one usually comes around to bite us, sooner or later.
When the stakes are higher, don't ignore your instincts when it comes to fit or chemistry -- you'll be very glad you took it seriously.