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Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:25 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Potential






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Post #1370703
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 1:37 AM
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When I wrote The danger in hiring stars it became apparent to me that a "star" employee exists within an whole ecosystem.

If you take the star out of that ecosystem do they still shine? That isn't to imply that they are only stars because they are hogging someone elses credit. It is more likely that the ecosystem was the perfect icubator for their talents.

When we look at a potential employee we should also look at where they were a success. What does that tell you about their character and the methods they would have had to employ to become a success?


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Post #1370738
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:07 AM


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I think one of the mistakes often made when judging potential is to use one's own priorities and viewpoint. If you think, "I wonder what I could achieve if I had that person's abilities", you're not judging their potential accurately; it's what they will achieve with their abilities that is important.

I see no problem with looking at potential, so long as you try to understand someone's motivations as well as abilities. However, being able to do that is a difficult skill to acquire, and that's one area where real managers differentiate themselves from those with "manager" in the job title.


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Post #1370851
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 6:09 AM


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David.Poole (10/10/2012)
When I wrote The danger in hiring stars it became apparent to me that a "star" employee exists within an whole ecosystem.

If you take the star out of that ecosystem do they still shine? That isn't to imply that they are only stars because they are hogging someone elses credit. It is more likely that the ecosystem was the perfect icubator for their talents.

When we look at a potential employee we should also look at where they were a success. What does that tell you about their character and the methods they would have had to employ to become a success?


I've worked in environments that tended towards making everyone in them successful. Whole greater than the sum of its parts kind of thing. I've also worked in ones that pretty much went out of their way to make sure nobody lived up to their potential if that potential would make someone senior to them look bad. The first is a beautiful thing, the second was pretty much hell on Earth (I got out of there fast).

Then there are the environments that let everyone flounder around and try to find their own level. Some of those work better than others. One I worked at had a couple of good, skilled, highly intelligent people, who were being wasted by a manager who used "I don't micromanage" as an excuse for completely ignoring all actual management functions entirely. Another was more of an, "I'm the manager. That means I'm here to back you up when you need it. Call on me when you feel the need. You're the pro, we'll back your play to the best of our ability." and worked beautifully.

But there are also people who will shine no matter where you put them. It's just, sometimes, hard to see the "shine" when it's buried under a pile of mismanagement BS.


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Post #1370873
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:28 AM
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"reasons to hire a technologies"

"definitely the case a ten or fifteen years ago"

I can't believe that no one proofreads anything anymore. Writing these days is just becoming crap.

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Post #1370918
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 8:22 AM
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I think potential still rules, at least with a significant number of companies. I knew a gal who I worked with some years ago, that was brilliant at school. She had a 4.0 GPA. But she couldn't program to save her life. She got a job, working at Sandia National Labs, as a programmer, based entirely upon her GPA. For her own sake I hope that she moved out of the job into management, where she would be better suited.

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Post #1370956
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 11:14 AM


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Sorry wrong guy.

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Post #1371046
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 11:52 AM


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But there are also people who will shine no matter where you put them. It's just, sometimes, hard to see the "shine" when it's buried under a pile of mismanagement BS.


This explains perfectly why some star programmers I used to work with had a hard time finding a new job because their talents were clouded by their incompetent managers. Somehow it had no big effect on me finding my current job.


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