Monday, February 2, 2009


Continuing with my commentary on the Fortune Magazine interview of author Jim Collins, this post is about his second point which is the need for the best talent.

This is like motherhood and apple pie- who does not want the best talent?

Although I was once in a meeting when a "leader" said he was only looking to hire people that were "good enough" as that was all he could afford and they were easier to find. Thank goodness he was only employed there for a short time after that insightful statement.

Yet even though we know this and pledge allegiance regularly to the concept, when times are good, many of us fall into the mediocrity trap. There are a million reasons why this happens.

To name just a few:

It takes time to weed out the poor performers and replace them with the best talent.

Top talent is demanding in every way- money, attention, freedom, perks, etc.

We convince ourselves we can/should develop the poor performers. But we know better. In our gut we know which ones will not get better.

But when a crisis occurs, you especially need the best talent and particularly in leadership positions. This is not a job for lightweights.

I have seen time and time again that an organization will break at its weakest link- the mediorce talent they have in leadership positions. We all think we will get to that issue one of these days. It is on your To Do list.

Well, that might be okay in good times, but it will not fly in times of challenge. Does anyone think the business climate is going to get easier anytime soon?

If not, what are you doing today to make sure you have the best talent?

Until next time,

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