Recently, on a beautiful spring day, I was visiting my daughter. I offered to give her some tips about sprucing up the yard of the home she rents. Now, I am no master gardener, but I have fought with weeds my entire life. I know weeds!
As we moved through her yard, I noted that she already had several nicely landscaped areas. She just needed to get rid of those weeds! So I started pointing, saying “That’s a weed, those are all weeds, that vine growing up that tree looks like poison ivy, those flowers don’t belong there…”
That final piece of advice confused her. “Those flowers are weeds?” So I explained that, even though they were attractive plants, they were in the wrong place – they didn’t add value where they were, they didn’t fit in that spot, and they should be pulled or transplanted to a more suitable location. And, sure enough, nearby was a grouping of flowers where the offending plants were perfectly suited.
So that got me thinking about how often good employees are viewed as poor performers or troublemakers simply because they are in the wrong job. Or on the wrong team. Rather than just terminating, or pushing such an employee to do the job better, doesn’t it make sense to assess the landscape, determine if the employee is truly a problem, or just in the wrong spot? If he has potential but is not well-suited for his current role, identify alternative roles where he can blossom. The result will typically be an engaged performer who understands his own role and is eager to contribute to group and company goals. With the added benefits of not having to outplace someone or source a new employee to fill a need.
Just like transplanting misplaced plants – they add value and benefit in the right location, without even having to go to the nursery. For more on this, go to
For more on getting employees in the optimal place, visit Makarios at