Good people are hard to find 1

Good People Are Hard To Find

One of the hardest decisions business owners make is knowing when to hire help; the second is knowing when to let the wrong help go.

Most businesses start out with you, the business owner, doing everything. If you’re good at what you do and your marketing efforts are successful, eventually you will need to add some type of a support system so you can focus on the most important activities that only you can do.

Inevitably, when this happens, you’ll be on the lookout for “good people”.

There are lots of people out there looking for a “good job” and there are a bunch of good people who have the capacity to be a great asset to you and your business.  Good people, however, require good leadership, good training, clear expectations and, most importantly, a culture that focuses on willingness and ability.

Allow me to explain:

There are essentially four categories that all people fall into:


When you have someone who falls into the willing and able quadrant, they have the skills and ability required to do the job and be a great asset to your team. These are your “good people” and chances are they love their job and do it well.

When you have someone who falls into the willing and unable quadrant, you have a training or a capacity issue.  It’s okay for someone to be unable when they are first hired, provided they have the capacity to learn what needs to be done and can become able, but if they can’t become able over a period of time and training, these people should not be on your team.

When you have someone who falls into the unwilling and able quadrant, you have an attitude issue. You have someone who knows what to do, has demonstrated they can do what is expected, but is choosing, for whatever reason, not to perform.  These people should not be on your team if their unwillingness persists.

Focus on willingness and ability as though it is a mantra for #success. Share on X

When you have someone who falls into the unwilling and unable quadrant, they have an attitude and skill deficit and, if you’ve hired them, you as a leader most likely need some ability training yourself on how to hire the right people.   These people cannot stay on your team.

The two middle quadrants (willing & unable, unwilling & able) are the most difficult for leaders to navigate because they have a tendency to make excuses and rationalize the poor performance.  At a recent team meeting when I drew this chart on the wall, I walked everyone through these four quadrants and each person on my team agreed that the only people who should be on our team are those who are willing and able.

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it?

Consider this:

Happy employees who feel good about their work are willing and able.  Anyone who is in a job that they are unwilling to do, or are unable to do, are likely very unhappy and unfulfilled, not to mention frustrated daily by their inability to find a “good job”.  Your role as a leader is not to “fix” these people, but rather have candid open conversations and help them to do what suits them best. In some cases, you may be able to find a different role for them, and in many cases, you’ll need to part ways gracefully.

And if you’re still not convinced, consider this:

You’re flying on an all-expense paid trip to Bali next week.  Which quadrant do you want the captain of the plane to be in?

I thought so.

Don’t leave the success of your business to chance. Hire the right people to do the right work, and focus on willingness and ability as though it is a mantra for success.

Leave a comment and let me know, was this helpful for you? Are you able to categorize the people on your team based on the four quadrants above? 


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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