Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Talented but not so successful...!?

Just been reading HBR’s collection of articles on Finding and Keeping the Best People. A couple of good articles that I’ll talk about in this post and the next one.

The first one – Managing away bad habits - is about helping talented people who unfortunately have ‘bad’ habits that prevent them from doing well despite being talented and brilliant. The authors, James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, bring out the fact that there can never be perfect employees and it is up to the organization to help talented people perform well by spending enough time and effort in helping them overcome their ‘problems’. The six types of people identified by the authors - based on their ‘bad’ habits - are quite interesting and would be easy to relate to for people who have been in an organizational environment for some time.

- Hero (The woman who pushes her people to be superhuman and therefore has a team that soon runs out of steam)

- Meritocrat (The guy who expects everything to be ideal and objective and therefore gets frustrated when things aren’t the way they ought to be)

- Bulldozer (The person who doesn’t mind a few dead bodies on the way to achieving things)

- Pessimist (The person who means well but is always expecting the worst and therefore prevents anything new from happening)

- Rebel (The girl who is against all the rules because it is in her nature to behave so….independent and hard-headed)

- Home Run Hitter (The guy who spreads himself too thin and tries to do too many things)

The authors go on to provide some tips on how to help such people cope with reality. Useful article, overall.


Hari said...

Excellent post. Will read the book surely.

Samba said...

Self help books tend to be simplistic, breaking every complex thing into undertsandable part. Tey are especially endearing with their layman's language. The unfortunate part is that they have layman's content as well! They talk about politically correct stuff coz they will get jailed or at least no one will read them if they dare to speak politically incorrect stuff. And the stuff they talk about is stuff that everyone knows but finds tough to implement like love your neighbor. I can't love my neighbor if she happens to be one of the vamps that star in Hindi soap operas. Hero, Villain, Rebel, Rock Star, doesn't matter. And most people probably don't want to be successful. They work to pay their bills. And those who care about success know about the ways to succeed, either by intuition or by experience - hard work, smartness, people skills, risk taking and a li'l bit of dirty tricks.