It’s a harsh reality. One that has bitten me in the rear more than a few times. Blame it to my insatiable optimism in people, I’ve always believed that if I want to, I can help any individual turn things around for themselves in their careers, organizations or life in general.
I was wrong. And I’ve tried this and failed consistently for several years. Now, let me be clear, I haven’t failed them all (come on, I ain’t that bad!) but a handful few whom I believed deserved a second, third or even a fourth chance to make things okay for themselves. Why? They never wanted to change.
That’s why, a few years ago, I concluded that I can’t always convert frogs to princes but I can always hunt for princes in the first place! And I advise everyone, particularly recruiters and senior leaders to the same. Because you can’t possibly convert B-player into an A-player. It’s insane to even think in those lines. Yet, companies invest thousands of dollars into resources who’re happy to merely exist in a company instead of true-blue rockstars who’re high performers almost by default.
And this isn’t to say the ones who merely exist aren’t any good. They just aren’t a good fit for their current role and that’s all. They could possibly be rockstars elsewhere! Who knows? But hoping they would transform into rockstars through some training, coaching and motivational speeches is stupid. You’re wasting your time.
I believe what drives people is the fuel inside of them, not the noise outside of them.