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Finding the Pearl

by Randall Craig on November 10, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management

Tagged as: ,

Have you ever worked with (or observed) a manager who was truly motivating? If so, you may have wondered how they did it, and by extension, how you might become this way.

The job of the manager is to use each person’s special strength – their pearl – to its full advantage. The pearl is their special ability: analytical strength, drive, smarts, great relationship builder, etc. When the pearl is found, and used, not only is the person more effective, but they are happier too. If you find the pearl in others, it is far easier to get things done.

Five ways to find the pearl in others:

  • Ask them: what do you do better than anyone else?
  • Ask them to self-select: ask each person in a group to choose their tasks, based on the jobs that are available. (People usually choose the task where they will best succeed.)
  • Ask others: what type of problem does that person solve better than anyone else?
  • Observe: who does everyone go to for solving a particular type of problem?
  • Test: Give group members low-risk trial assignments and determine who does better at what.

This week’s action item: Once you’ve found everyone’s special ability, then learn from them. If you do this well, and often, your “pearl” might be the ability to find, and shine, the pearl in others.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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