Most people are hired or promoted largely because of who they used to be. There’s a tendency to look back at past experience and accomplishments and then attempt to project that historical performance into the future.
We’d do well to remember the disclaimer wealth management firms use: past performance is no guarantee of future results.
When things don’t work out, it well may be because of underperformance issues.
Just as often, however, people are fired because of who they are. We had hoped the tiger we hired would change its stripes, but when the stripes on the tiger don’t change we’re surprised and disappointed.
So the next time you hire or promote someone, look beyond technical capability and take a closer look at the person’s character. Are this person’s values and beliefs consistent with ours? The abusive sales exec, the project manager who regularly blames others for problems they helped cause or the so-called leader who is unwilling or unable to talk about the tough issues that must be addressed are unlikely to change their behavior. That’s who they really are, and we ignored those character flaws hoping they would change.
Your talent is the best predictor of future success. Are you evaluating your talent on who they were or who they are?
To dive even deeper into the topic of accountability, I invite you to purchase a copy of my bestselling book, “Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture.”
Business schools teach case studies. Hollywood blockbusters are inspired by true events.
Exceptional leaders are students of history. Decision-making comes with the territory.