After more than a decade in hi-tech industry I realized that every time there’s an alarming need to “hire someone to fix broken things” something inside feels weird.
When you hire new people, their usual initial plan is to show how good they are and how much responsibility they can take. Instead, they should be learning. But nobody wants to learn. You weren’t hired to learn. Go! Go! Go!
Just like women on the side won’t patch a hole in the heart, no “star” will ever prevent company processes from rotting.
And here’s why.
It’s inevitable. You’re bringing someone you’re ready to kiss in the lips while your old squat is made to stare and be part of this awkwardness. Nobody likes to be put “under” someone else. People are not sandwiches. You can’t treat them like they’re ham, bread, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. On top of their natural dislike of the new hire, they’ll lose confidence in you as a mature decision maker who understands their strengths and talents.
If yesterday you spoke about unity and human values, but today you’re introducing a “star” that will make twice the money your team members do — you have tunnel vision. Don’t you think people won’t find out? Oh yes they will. And once they do —you’re trapped. They will either request raises threatening to leave or they will leave for good.
Because people don’t quit jobs. People quit managers.
Even if your HR promised the world to the “star” and the “star” agreed to accept the offer, don’t expect him to stick around if you can’t provide room for growth. You see, most “stars” won’t really care about your product or service when they come to you. They will care about money and personal/professional plans. As long as they can expand (learn new stuff, test their new knowledge in real conditions, challenge themselves to get something very hard done, ect.) they will be with you. Once they reach the limit of their freedom – they’ll start looking around.
Instead, they will bend your team. And your people won’t like it. All the “stars” I’ve met or hired had labels people gave them. “Ex CTO of XYZ”, “Former VP of Sales at YXZ”, “Jeff’s new foul”. It’s how people will be describing your new hire internally. Later those labels will change to: “Bitch”, “Bossy pig”, “Idiot”, “Incompetent prick”, “Yes, he’s smart, but what an asshole!”. “Stars” will bring their own boxes full of rules and things “we did at XYZ and it worked”. They will slowly inject their “poison” into soft bodies of your departments and teams. Changing them won’t work. They don’t bend. And one of the worst things to see is when your old team members quit because they “couldn’t take that bull shit that idiot anymore”?
Every employee entering the gates of your Palace will inevitably learn stuff your competitors will be very happy to get their hands on. “Stars”, as we have discovered, are very sensitive creatures and require special treatment. If you can’t give it to them, they’ll leave. Where do you think they’ll go? What do you think they’ll be discussing? Ask yourself those questions before hiring a “star”.
A team of mediocre construction workers will build a quality wall much faster than one super worker. And it doesn’t matter if he had degrees and if he had worked with legends of construction in the past. Team vs 1 man. Don’t make common mistakes. Don’t hire one person to fix or improve something that requires a team.
Now that you’ve hired a “star”, your main concern is to make sure she sticks around. Thinking about this all the time is stressful. Dealing with “Give it to me or I’m leaving” situations is disruptive.
If woman cries, in 99% it’s man’s fault. Even if his ego tells him something else.
Same thing with hiring “stars” to deal with wall cracks. If you’re looking for an easy fix using “star’s” hands— pause your hectic day and dive deeper into your current team life. Figure out where the cracks are coming from and inspire your own people to fix them. Your team will discover superpowers in their hearts if you only let them feel how much you believe in them. Show real appreciation and get involved.
Wise executives “breed” their successors. Heads of departments must teach team members. They have to plan together with them. They should check results together and find ways to improve results together. New hires have to be approved by team members of appropriate departments first. Because it’s the your people, not you, who will be working with new hires.
And if you manage to build a team of people who are loyal to you, who appreciate energy you’ve invested in them and who are ready to stand by their company should a rainy day come — you’ll be golden. And so will be your people.
Living in Northern Texas after Southern California is like landing on Mars after Earth. Never-ending flatness of countless fields. Trucks. Plazas. Heat. With its 300 days of summer I thought Texas would lead the movement of utilization of solar power. But Lone Star State is only 10th in the US. Texas is big on wind […]