I cant remember how often I’ve heard stories like the one I just heard from a good friend of mine. He had introduced me to a person who by all accounts was courteous and professional and an all-around good guy. After he left the room I got “The Story.” We’ve all heard it too many times. It starts off with this phrase or something similar: “That guy used to be such a problem…” or “I really didn’t like her when she first reported to work for me back in 95…” and then they lay it on you: how through considerable effort and some good old-fashined mentoring, the person finally got it and turned around and “now look at them.” They are productive and have advanced to management or leadership positions themselves. Another save. Heartwarming, isn’t it? ….Well, it just makes me want to smack somebody.
The unaccounted for variable in all these stories, from the “look what my caring leadership and mentoring has produced” series, are the other ten people that worked for you back in 95. What happened to them? What happened to your top three performers that you ignored while you were paying attention to your fixer-upper? Because something definitely happened to them – while you may have thought you were doing a good and noble thing, I personally believe you screwed up royal. If you have one of these stories of your own – then you might have fallen victim to the three myths of the turnaround employee: Read more “The Myth of the Turnaround Employee”