Assess the People on Your Team

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As you identify the people in your “organization” (those who influence you or your goals), it’s useful to understand their alignment with your initiative, and their potential to meaningfully impact it (for the better or for the worse).

  • In her book, Radical Focus (more information linked below), Christina Wodtke suggests using 3 criteria (engagement, performance, and alignment) to assess team members.
  • She further recommends using a 3 point assessment (High, Medium, Low) on each of these criteria.
  • Let’s look at these in more detail, understand why they’re important, and put them to use.


Paraphrasing a leader in the area of engagement:

"An engaged participant is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and thus will act in a way that furthers the initiative’s interests. An engaged stakeholder is aware of organizational context, and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organization. It is a positive attitude held by the stakeholders towards the organization and its values." --More information linked below.

Practice 1

Consider these questions for each of your people:

  • Is each person participating actively, spontaneously, and proactively?
  • Is any actively unsupportive?

Based on your answers to these questions, assess each stakeholder according to their level of engagement with your initiative (High, Medium, or Low).


Performance is about meeting goals in an effective and efficient manner.

Practice 2

Ask yourself these questions about your people:

  1. Are they meeting goals?
  2. Do they have a track record of meeting goals?
  3. Are they capable of meeting goals, given appropriate resources?

Based on the answers to these questions, assess each of your people as High, Medium, and Low for Performance.


Alignment — Def: a state of agreement or cooperation among persons, groups, nations, etc., with a common cause or viewpoint.


Practice 3

Answer the following questions for each of your people:

  • Are they agreeable?
  • Are they cooperative?

Based on these answers, assess the Alignment of each of your people (High, Medium, or Low).

Place the answers in your PowerBoard.


It is helpful to assess each of your people based on their Engagement, Performance, and Alignment with overall and specific goals.

Periodically assess your people in each of these areas, with an assessment of High, Medium, or Low.

Select and replace team members accordingly.

Practice 4

Answer the following questions in writing, and place the answers in your PowerBoard.

  • What was most valuable here for you?
  • What did you learn that you did not know before?
  • Name one action you can take today that will begin to implement what you learned here.
  • Based on the assessments above:
    • Which people do you see as your greatest allies?
    • Are there any people who you will want to distance from your initiative?
    • Might it be worthwhile to add more people or organizations to your core or extended stakeholder group?

Your Key Team Members

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