One of my many breakfast discussions with business friends and associates got onto the topic of hiring (or electing) the right people — and what criteria really matters. Not just the simple stuff like verifying experience or credentials — but the visceral stuff like spontaneous insight, goodness of fit, malleability, transparency, self-throttling, alignment on definition of achievement. You get it — the “yeah, yeah they’re all qualified” but can our team agree on what really matters most?
Out of this discussion came the statement “Smart People Drag Around More Baggage” (thanks Chuck!). In a lot of ways this is really true. In our discussion, “smart” meant really high talent, high intelligence or high achievement workers — these folks are never really plug & play. They are capable of delivering the extraordinary — but much has to be a great fit to see that happen. Bringing them on demands a pretty astute corporate self-awareness as these folks often have non-linear career assignment and progress, making peer acceptance challenging — or work hour/style flexibilities, built around their own peak performance scheduling — or business allies and enemies from prior lives, so there’s now a band in the background.
You get the drift.
The person matters a lot. But the baggage (good and bad) they drag with them matters a lot too. Interesting visual.