My prize catch Ajit does not stack up anymore..

“When Ajit joined our team there was a great hope. After all, he not only had top rated education but he had also worked at the market leader in our industry. I was very proud to net him. But six months have passed and I no more enjoy meeting him”

CEOs go through such disappointments.

Here are some thoughts before you go for your next prize catch:

-Agreed, Ajit came from the same industry. But working with the market leader can be quite different than working for a company which is trying to come up with better offerings. Being a market leader means that the way things are compared by customers has been set already. On the other hand, at a company offering some thing new, you have to change customers’ benchmarks. Your star recruit may not have done this before.

-Ajit’s excellent education: Great. But your company has been built around people with education from different kind of institutions. You culture is that of looking around and learning by trying things out. Ajit is not used to that. He tends to take many things for granted. That would be a cause of some friction between Ajeet and your other people.  And Ajeet being perceived as a new star would have increased the distance further.

It does not mean that a CEO should only recruit ‘our types’. Quite the opposite. People ‘not like us’ can be a good addition if what they bring adds to the business.One should know what it is.

But how does one find this about new comers when one does not know own people well enough -going by those botched up cases of promoting the favorites?

First thing to do is raise your own capability of developing people -you will start understanding people much better. A good resource for this can be Learning Leadership -it is flexible, accessible, and affordable.

The second thing to do is to prepare yourself well before you start looking for new people. If you do the first one well you will have much to build on for this.

What to do about Ajit who is unfortunately so off-color now?

Perhaps a short assignment to investigate competitive landscape to come up with some ground up thinking might bring him out of his shell? Perhaps.

Any more guesses?


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