Don’t Clean Without Your Glasses On

As the Holidays approach, my gracious wife agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner for our families. Part of my responsibility in preparing was to make sure our family room, where our guests would gather, was clean. As I got to work on the floor, the haunting words of my dear grandma rang in my ears, “the only way to clean a floor is on your hands and knees”.

I had my bucket with a little cleaner, my sponge, a towel to wipe up right away, and a small scrubber for any tough spots. So on my hands and knees I cleaned and wiped, scrubbed and dried. I took my time and made sure to clean every inch. I had everything I needed to do a grandma approved job, except my glasses. Since I wasn’t reading anything, I didn’t think I needed my reading glasses for this corporal endeavor; but alas.

As I examined my work, and this time with my readers on, I noticed that I had missed a lot; like a lot a lot. Streak lines still existed along side water marks. A few small patches of dirty areas remained in corners. And then there were the baseboards. So back I went with clean water, a new sponge, and my glasses. Much better!

What Lens are You Looking Through?

So what does my story of drudgery have to do with Human Capital. How often do we look at our employees without our metaphorical glasses on? We see what we want to see. We see the good surface things, the obvious positive attributes, but we miss the details. We don’t see the small flaws and imperfections that have a big impact on our company’s overall results.

And where we may not see the issues or problems, others do. They notice the disconnect with company mission and other’s misalignment. This can cause uncertainty, confusion, and disengagement.

Put On Your Glasses

This is why it’s so important to accurately and objectively assess your team. Yes, we want to acknowledge and recognize all the benefits they bring to the organization. And, we need to identify the areas of growth and development they require to ensure greater future success.

Sometimes our “glasses” are just a shift in our own perspective. But remember, we need to be objective and sometimes that can be immensely difficult if not impossible. Other times our “glasses” are other people. Other teammates, direct reports, or even vendors can show us some of those important details in an employee that will make a huge difference in results, but we’re not able to see unaided.

Once we get this much clearer picture of who we’re dealing with, we can get to work on developing the individual so they can contribute in greater ways, thus producing the desired end results for our organization, just like my family room floor.


MJ Human Capital Consulting unlocks the power and performance of your team faster and easier than you can imagine. I help companies evaluate performance and potential, and get the best from employees by developing clear plans for growth, advancement, and greater success.