The Right Person in the Right Role: the Peak Performance Profile™

right person in the right role

Say you wanted to drive from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, WA and were not allowed to use a map or GPS. You could only use street signs and stop and ask for directions along the way. You will eventually get there, but you will get a bit lost, and it may take twice as long and cost you twice as much in gas and extra nights in hotels than if you specifically mapped out the most direct route and followed your GPS. 

The same is true with determining if you have the right employee in a role and/or hiring a new person for a role: if you are not perfectly clear about the specifics of the role and how success is defined, it will cost you a lot more time and money trying to figure it out.

Out of this problem, the Peak Performance Profile™ or P3 was born.

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In our previous blog, The 3 Critical Strengths of High-Performing Consultative Salespeople, we talked about the top factors that create a consistent, happy employee:

1.Specific knowledge of the job,

2. Skills, defined as themastery of the application of the knowledge in order to execute consistent results, and

3. Traits,thenatural alignment between the individual’s hardwired traits and the required traits of the job.

Based on these three elements, Excelsior created the P3 as a means of getting past your typical, generic job description that fails to accurately define the duties and responsibilities of a role.    

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The P3 is your road map to ensuring you have the right person in the role. It is an objective, logical and scientific approach to defining the requirements of the job. In a P3,a job’s primary tasks are broken down into categories. For example, for a COO, the categories may include: Human Resources, Finance, Sales, Marketing, IT, Reporting, etc. Each task is then matched with the specific knowledge and skills needed, how success is defined in executing the task, the ideal and/or required behavioral traits (attention to detail, assertiveness, communication style, etc.) required of the task, and finally, the estimated amount of time that will be spent doing the tasks in each category.

The P3 can then be used as an interviewing or assessment tool for existing employees to gauge with precision where an employee or candidate’s strengths and weakness are as they relate to her ability to successfully execute the job. 

The P3 will help to identify if the employee or candidate has:

  • The necessary experience to perform the tasks
  • The requisite knowledge and skills
  • The requisite traits that naturally mesh with the job or if the individual will have to adjust her behavior to the job (this identifies how consistent and enjoyable the job will be to the individual)
  • Achieved the desired results (i.e., success) before, which is one of the best ways to predict if the individual can achieve those results again.

And very, very importantly… 

If the candidate “WANTS” to do the job, which is very different than if she “CAN” do the job. There are a lot of things that we can all do very well, but we don’t really like doing them. If we only have to do these unsavory tasks for a short period of time, no problem. But if we are aware that we may have to spend 30% or more of our time doing them, we will most likely make a different decision about taking that job!

As stated, the P3 will help you to identify an employee or candidate’s specific strengths and weaknesses as they relate to her ability to successfully execute the role. This will help you to detect where additional training and coaching will be needed if you decide to keep the existing employee in the role; or, if you decide to hire the candidate, it'll help you determine how the candidate’s skills and experience compare with other potential candidates, so you can make a more informed decision.  

With the knowledge provided by the P3, your questions about whether the person is right for the role go from being a highly subjective “I like this person” approach to a more objective, logical, and even scientific (Psychometrics!) approach to making better decisions about your human capital.

In defining the specifics of the role, the P3 becomes your GPS, steering you towards your ideal candidate. In our next post, we’ll talk about how you utilize the P3 to source candidates.

If you would like an example of a P3 and/or guidance on creating one for your company, contact me at 703-543-2041 or

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