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In statistics, a line of best fit is used to map out the dependent variable of an equation given two independent variables. The more points on a graph the line touches, the better your equation and, thusly, the more consistent your output. The important equation here is Leader x Team = Product. Your team could be a technical support team, a sports team, or a sales team, but the bottom line is your best production will occur when you have the best fit.

What exactly do you mean by fit? You might ask, and that’s the million-dollar question. Fit takes many shapes and forms and ultimately, it will differ for each organization one is trying to make a fit for. Fit for someone trying to hire a CFO will look different than someone trying to hire an administrative assistant. Regardless of the position though, there are some basics of fit that both hiring staff and those seeking employment should think about: 1. What does fit look like in this organization? 2. Does the potential hire for the job and/or the organization? Is the leader of this job/organization fit to lead others?

Fit doesn’t only apply to the hiring process but can be a tool that’s invaluable in evaluating your current work environment. There’s no question that the pool of talent in the world is only getting wider and deeper, and with that expansion, there lies a temptation to make immediate adjustments in one’s team if there are problems occurring. But before making rash and impulsive personnel shifts, it’s crucial to look internally and see if fit might be a way to curb any discrepancies in the current team composition.

A way to assess issues using fit is to ask 1. Is the problem greater than the talent? If the answer there is no, then perhaps there are other solutions more effective than getting rid of the employee. If the answer is yes, then we go on to 2. Do you have the time do alleviate the problem? Working to restructure the fit of someone on the team doesn’t sound like too terrible an option when the flipside is putting together a hiring committee, scouring through applications, slogging through interviews, and then training the new hire. Another factor to think about, too, is the timeline you’d have to complete all of these hoops in. The crunch of a hiring deadline before a big project or a new season can also force one into preemptively hiring someone that may not be the best fit for the team.

What’s most important to remember that to only look at one side of the Leader x Team equation, you never get the full picture. This might seem strange, the idea that those making the hiring decision should come under the scrutiny of fit also. Though you might be in the position of power in the hiring process, every person has areas in which they can grow and improve. It isn’t just recognizing that someone might not be the right fit for you or your company, but taking the analysis further, introspecting, and knowing yourself enough to also say I am not the right fit to be your leader. After all, how effectively can we lead others and adapt to their strengths and weaknesses, when we don’t even know our own?

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