Good Person, Poor Fit

Every organization seems to have at least one person who is struggling to be successful. They aren’t doing their job properly or productively. They resist suggestions. They’re not getting along with others.   They just are not thriving within their environment.

We often describe such people as being difficult, lazy, incompetent, disruptive, or annoying.   When we are that person, we say that the environment is toxic, the management is incompetent, or that there’s no support for the employees.  Two sides of the same coin, each pointing the finger at the other.

The variable that is often ignored during this blame game is the person’s fit or lack of fit with the organizational culture or job duties. You can tell when fit is at play when that person leaves or goes into another job, then becomes successful, productive, or well-liked when placed in an environment where their talents can shine.

I’ve seen it again and again. Unhappy employee gets fired, leaves or is transferred to another job, department or company. He goes from being a problem to a superstar.

There’s nothing inherently bad about the person or organization when there is a mismatch between the two. To some degree we have to try it (a job, degree program or organization) to see if it fits. However, if it doesn’t work out, we tend to personalize the problem rather than looking at fit issues.

I love to see that “loser” go into a different environment and shine.  Giving yourself or another person that opportunity to find their authentic path and blossom may feel like a punishment in the moment but it can actually be a gift to someone who is struggling. If we don’t ever feel brilliant in some way in our current position or organization, then it’s probably not a good match. If that’s you, maybe give yourself that chance to be a genius somewhere, at something, or figure out how to discover what that is.