Past, Present or Future

August 21st, 2012  | 

Published in Branding, Reputation

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?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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