Why Working With ‘Losers’ is Dangerous

March 6, 2010

If the past is a predictor of the future, there is a high probability that people with a dismal track record, who repeatedly fail at their assigned tasks, will fail at the task you are considering offering them, too.So far, nothing new.But why are they failing, and what are the repercussions if you missed doing your due diligence and hired them?Here is my insight.My observation is that people who repetitively fail tend to bite off more than they can chew, chew more than they can swallow. They do not have a realistic view of their capabilities; their ego drives them hard, and they often commit to delivering on goals that have a very low chance of being met. They promise too much, and they truly believe they can do it. If these people had a realistic view of their capabilities, they would have sought and accepted assignments at which they had a better chance of success.Because they truly believe in their superior talents, they often sell themselves convincingly and are hired. Eventually, their employers are disappointed. In the meantime, time and resources have been lost.But these are not the only results of such hiring.Unfortunately, since losers are blind to their limitations, they do not take responsibility for their failures. They don’t learn from their mistakes, and thus they repeat them over and over. Worse, they blame others for their failures: It is always someone else – often, the person who hired them – who has failed them.Thus, hiring “losers” doesn’t just waste resources. It has other unfortunate side effects that are even more dangerous: These people will spread gloom and ruin your hard-earned reputation.So should you hire only those with a track record of repetitive success?Not necessarily. It might be that those who constantly succeed are shooting too low, in order to ensure their success.I prefer people who have failed periodically, who overcame that failure and eventually succeeded. That demonstrates the strength of their personality.Success is not how little you fall, but how fast you get up. Falling is necessary for testing your limitations but only as long as you get up and learn from it.Sincerely,Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes

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Dr. Ichak Adizes