Stop Giving People Jobs!

accountability business assets ceo role contribution employee commitment employee contribution employee performance employees feminine leadership framework hiring process job expectations job roles leadership leadership expectations objectives organization positions results role accountability role criteria role design role elimination roles small business team building Mar 18, 2024


Today's episode of Leadership is Feminine dives into the concept of designing roles within a business as assets, rather than thinking of them as employee possessions. Host, Kris Plachy emphasizes the importance of creating roles that contribute to the business's objectives and results. She highlights the need to think about roles in the company as assets and how this mindset can change the way we create and hire for roles.

Kris shares insights into the responsibility of leaders to hold individuals in these roles accountable for their performance and results. She discusses the need to separate the person from the position, emphasizing that roles belong to the business, not to the individuals. Throughout the episode, Kris stresses the importance of making decisions about roles and people based on clear evidence and expectations.

The episode provides valuable insights into the relationship between businesses and their employees, underlining the importance of creating a culture of accountability and contribution. Kris also delves into the significance of embracing honesty and kindness in leadership, emphasizing the need for clear communication and regular feedback.

Tune in to learn more about Kris's unique perspective on designing roles within a business and how this mindset can transform your approach to leadership and team management! And if you're looking for more information on this topic, head to for further insights. Thanks for tuning in, and stay tuned for more empowering discussions on Leadership is Feminine!

The only reason you should ever have a role is so it's contributing to a result. It's making something happen in the business. I don't think we pay people to get work done. I think we pay people to get results.

Key Takeaways From This Episode

  1. Designing Roles as Business Assets: The importance of designing roles effectively

  2. Clear Objectives and Role Contributions: The distinction between paying for work done versus paying for results

  3. Finding the Right People: The impact of clear role expectations on the hiring process and role fulfillment

  4. Accountability and Responsibility in Leadership: Differentiating between the person and the position

  5. Managing Poor Role Performance: The need to address poor role performance without making it personal

Contact Information and Recommended Resources

Connect with Kris Plachy

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Well, hi, and welcome to Leadership is Feminine. I'm your host, Kris Plachy, and I'm so excited that you're here.

So I am in the third week, as I record this, of the One Hour Leader. One hour leader is a program I just recently started. It's an hour a week. It's eight weeks long. And in that eight weeks, we are basically creating all of the framework that my clients need who are running seven-figure businesses and to build the million dollar team to take the business to the next level. So it's really fundamental and it's also really practical. So the hour is very tactical. We're doing the work together. We're writing the things we're getting it done. Okay.

So what I just talked about today was designing roles. There's a series in sequence of that I know is effective when you're building a team. And obviously, creating roles is one of those very effective parts of the business that you have to design. But I wanted to plop on here. This is going to be not a terribly long podcast, but it's really just to serve as clarity and reminder for you.

So I want you to think about at a grander level, right, you have this company, this thing you want to do in the world. What is it? Then that company that has this thing it wants to do in the world has objectives that it needs to achieve in order to make that thing happen. And one of the mechanisms to achieve those objectives is through people, mostly through people, but, through people.

So then here's where I want to sort of give you a different and alternative way to think. We tend to think as employees. So if you're an employee, this is true, right? Like most employees think that they have a job. And most employees feel like that job belongs to them. Like, "I have a job. It's my job".

Employers can actually start to think that the job is the employee's job. But it's not. The job, or what I prefer to say, roles, the roles that we create, the roles that we create in companies are assets for the company. They aren't employee possessions. They are organization and company possessions. The role belongs to the business, right.

So if we think about a position, a role, as an asset to your business, how does that change the relationship that you have with it? Not just even the relationship that you want team members to have with it, but how do you, how does that change the relationship that you have with it?

When you think about the fact that you have these roles that have to achieve these objectives, then what we do is we design a role as an asset to the business. And then regardless of who's in the role, the asset is a part of the business's process to achieve its results. And then I want you to sort of try that on as the leader of your company. How does that alter the way that you think?

If you think about roles in your company as assets, not people, I'm not talking people right now. I am just talking the role. If we think about your operations management position, your sales rep positions, your coach positions, your manager positions, your CFO position as an asset. What is the asset there to do?

The asset should have a result it's responsible for, right? That role, the only reason you should ever have a role is so it's contributing to a result. It's making something happen in the business, right? And we tend to mix that up with just getting work done. I don't think we pay people to get work done. I think we pay people to get results.

So if I'm thinking about the positions, then I'm thinking about, "Okay, what's the result that I want from this position? If I'm going to pay this person $90 grand a year, what's the result I'm trying to get here?" You should know that, right?

And I walk you through how to create job roles. Because, if you don't think like this, you're designing something that becomes a to do list for someone else to do so that you don't have to do it, or so that you just know it's done. But you're not really thinking about adding these positions to your business as assets.

Now, when I think about an asset, I want to take better care of that than I do, just, I don't know, something that gets work done. I want to really think about this role. And then what, what we do is we design a role. This is now the asset of the business. And then what I do is I go out into the world and I look for the right person to put in the role.

And I have to have criteria and things that I think about that will make whomever is in that role, that will help that role thrive, that will help that role produce and make what happens be the thing that needs to happen. And that's also why over time, a role can be the same, but the person that you need in it can change because the size of the business has changed. The level of contribution that the position makes could change. So sometimes the people in the role have to change.

And sometimes we invite people into the role and they don't deliver the expectations of the role, they don't meet the objectives of the role, they don't perform and we have to ask ourselves, "Okay, have I been clear about the role? Have I been clear about what's expected?"

And the answer to that we know for sure is yes, then we just have the wrong person and it's not personal. Your responsibility is to the promise of your company. And if you have someone in a position that can't deliver on the role, that's okay, it's not personal, but we don't want to keep them there.Because now you're paying $80, $90, $50 grand for someone to sit in a role that's not maximizing.

I also think this helps us with our employees as we make invitations, like, "I'd like to offer you a role." "I'd like to offer you this role." "I'd like to offer you this position, but I'm not going to give you a job. You can think that you have a job working for me, but I'm not giving you the job. The role belongs to the company."

It's semantics, but I think it matters. I do think it really matters, and I think it helps build the expectation that when you hire people, their function is to contribute and maximize the result of the role, and also to be a part of that co creation model that delivers on the promise of the business, and the way they do that is through this role.

If you, as the owner of your business, think about the fact that the role is your asset, is your business's asset, how does that change the way you think about hiring? How does that change the way you want to write and draft the role. How does that change the goals you might expect of someone in a role? And how does that change your commitment to holding someone accountable to the results of a role? I think it's a big deal.

I was telling my clients in the One Hour Leader today that years ago, I worked in outplacement. So I worked with people who, and companies who, were going through layoffs. And one of the things that we learned through that process is that when we let someone go through a layoff or a reorg or any of that, we say, "Your position has been eliminated. The position you're in has been eliminated."

We don't say, "You've been fired. You are terminated." We say the position is eliminated, right? And then when we coach those same people who've been laid off, we suggest and teach them to say, I'm looking for a new position because the position I was in was eliminated. Not, "I was fired".

And that was the first time I had heard that language and I thought, wow, that's really powerful. Because it separates the person from the position.

I guess some people might think that sounds old. I don't think so. I think it's actually very healthy because you aren't your position. If you're an employee, you're not your position as a CEO. You're a woman leading a business, leading a family, living a life. CEO, founder, is a role. It isn't who you are. And it doesn't belong to you.

I've coached enough founders that that went sideways. So I know that's true, too.

And what we're trying to build, right, what I have always as I am working with you and talking to you is that the better you can get at designing a culture of accountability, and responsibility, and contribution, the easier it is at any point in that process to acknowledge exceptional results, and, or, to do something about poor results. And to not need that to be personal. To not need that to be personal against you. That, you know, "We invited you into this position, the performance and the results are not aligning. What you're doing is not aligning to the expectations for the role. And so I just don't think this is a good match for us going forward." It's okay. Like, they're not bad people. It's just not working out.

And that could be about anything. It could be about, "Hey, you know, the attendance requirement for this role is that you get here on time. And you continue to not be here on time. So, you're just not meeting the expectations of the role. You're not a lazy guy, or a lazy woman," or whatever you might think in their head. Why we got to entertain that? You're just not meeting the expectations of the role.

And the better we get at that, the easier this is to move along. Because what I know, I can tell you a hundred percent for sure is, if you run a small business, love, you don't have time to be dragging people with you who aren't doing what they're supposed to do in a role that you are paying for. And if you're paying for results you're not getting, we know what that is, right? That's actually paying for something to hurt your company for someone to not deliver, you don't have the resources for that.

There is so much waste in big companies. So many people not working, not fulfilling the agreements of their role. So many. It's insane. They can get away with it. I don't know why they bother. I don't know why they do. I mean, that was something I used to just scream, you know, at the top of my lungs. When I worked in a company, like, "Our accountability structures in this place are terrible. Why are we doing this?"

It's true socially. It's true everywhere. We just don't hold people to the agreements that they made to the expectations they agreed to. Frick, to the laws they agreed to. We just don't hold them accountable.

So it isn't surprising to me if you get someone in your wake who you make this beautiful offer to, and you invite them in, and to have this role and be a part of your business and contribute and do all the things that you've worked really hard on. And then they don't do it. It doesn't surprise me.

Because there is a belief, I think, by a lot of people who have jobs that they're entitled to the position. That it belongs to them. It doesn't belong to them. It belongs to the organization. But the organization abdicates that over and over and over again, when they keep people in roles who aren't delivering.

So if we could make this normal, it would be so much better for everybody, right? And you guys have heard my other podcasts. I talked about like sports teams, right? If you're not delivering on the field, you don't play. And nobody gets mad about that. We, it's like we all just socially understand.

"Well, of course if you're not gonna play well, why would they put you on the field? If you're not gonna play well, why would I put you in that role in my field, which is my business? Why would I do that?" Because you should have a job, because I should try, I should like, I should want to, I should accommodate you?

Like, there's so many things that we're creating problems here. This is a can of worms. Don't agree. If you're not going to be able to deliver. It's okay if it's not your jam. It's okay. I don't, this is nothing personal here. So I know I'm a little bit of a vent, but I really just, I want to embolden you out there.

Now, this isn't me saying, "Yeah, now you can be mean to people. Yell at people. Be unkind to people. Be cruel to people. Be harsh on people." I'm not saying that. I want to make sure you understand. I'm not saying that. I think you can be kind, gracious. I think that practicing and learning, and practicing and learning, and practicing and learning decorum as a leader is vital. I do not think you have to be an a hole to be effective.

And in fact, I think the opposite. I think you can absolutely address that someone is not meeting the requirements and agreements of the position and be kind, gracious.

So the two to me, that's the problem is a lot of people take that kind of approach. And then they're just, you know, They're not nice as leaders. I don't think that's okay. I actually think honesty is very kind as long as it's with the intention of what it means, which is just to be honest, not to be hurtful, not to be insulting, not to be condescending.

And again, when we root everything in evidence, so we design a role very clearly, we design roles and goals very clearly. We have clear metrics. We have consistent feedback. We communicate with people regularly. Not pulling any punches here. "It's not working out. It's all right, but I gotta I gotta find someone in the role who can get it to be done because I'm running a small business and I don't have a lot of time here."

So, we put people in roles. Roles don't belong to people. If you remember that, I think it's going to give you a lot more clarity as you go forward, hiring and thinking about positions, right? Now, if you have more questions or you want to learn more about what we do, go to You're always going to find new information there.

So I invite you to check in. Thanks for tuning in.

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