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.
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon