Most types of sports equipment – a golf club, a tennis racquet, a baseball bat – have a certain spot that, if the ball hits it, will give the player the optimal result. Hitting this sweet spot yields a long drive down the fairway, a swift crosscourt return or home run swing.

Every sport has a sweet spot of some type. If you have experienced it, you know when you hit the sweet spot, you barely feel it. The ball goes where you want it to go… even further and faster. Doesn’t get any better than that!

But what about the sport of leadership?

Those in professional sports practice 90+ percent of the time and actually “play for keeps” less than 10 percent of the time. As a professional leader, you are almost always “playing for keeps.” So, it’s particularly important that you take time to plan and ensure teams members are playing in their sweet spot.

Matching sweet spots to job requirements is the best predictor of job success and excellent performance.

The first step is ensuring a good fit between an employee’s natural abilities and interests and the requirements of the job. This ensures the “highest and best use” of their talents.  Wouldn’t you love having every single team member working in their sweet spot?  They would always be in “the zone” and work would feel like play.

To help your team find their sweet spots, look at where their answers to these two questions intersect:

  • What am I absolutely passionate about?
  • Which tasks are very easy and natural for me to perform?

Consistently misidentify sweet spots, and your team will feel like it is in a sour patch than a sweet spot.

Correctly match employee’s sweet spots to the job requirements, and they will be living the sweet life!


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