Cindy was the hiring manager for a drug store. During a round of interviews, Cindy met the “perfect” employee, but passed on her because she felt that the new employee would eventually take her job. Cindy was right. Two years after the interview, the potential job candidate helped grow the competition to a financial level that would allow them to buy the company that Cindy worked for. Cindy lost her job in the transition.
I’m not saying that this so-called “perfect” employee was the reason for Cindy’s downfall, but she did play a part in it. Should Cindy have done anything differently two years prior?
Tanya was a regional manager for a retail clothing store. She had a saying, “If I win the lottery tomorrow, I’m going to do two things; I’m going to promote my replacement, and then quit my job.” Tanya believed that every employee should be able to do what she did, and that employees who showed potential should be nurtured and given the tools and resources to grow. Tanya sat in on the interviews for a new branch manager for one of her stores. Tanya met the “perfect” candidate to replace her one day, but he wasn’t ready, nor was he ready to be a branch manager of such a large store. Tanya knew that she could not afford to pass up this opportunity; so she, along with her boss, created a new position within the store to bring this employee on. It wasn’t what the gentleman was hoping for, but he recognized the opportunity. Seven years later, that employee took Tanya’s job; after she was promoted to VP.
Tanya was secure enough, and looking for, her replacement because she understood that a happy employee who is fully competent, cross-trained, and given opportunities will be successful; which strengthens the company. Should Tanya have done anything differently seven years prior?
Missed opportunities are everywhere, and it’s not just in employees. Look at Ask.com; when they were still known as Excite, they had the opportunity to buy a small company named Google, but passed on the business venture. Blockbuster passed up the chance to buy a young, new, and exciting company named Netflix in early 2000. In 1979, Bill Gates tried to sell his company, Microsoft, to billionaire Ross Perot, but Perot said no to the business deal because he did not feel the company was worth the asking price.
Let me ask you this; if you were to win the lottery tomorrow, who is your replacement? Who is their replacement?
Are you secure enough in your own position to fully cross-train your leadership team? Is your leadership team secure enough to fully cross-train their employees? Opportunities are there for the people who want them, and who act on them. What was the last opportunity that you acted on? What was the last opportunity that you passed up, and then later regretted your decision?
I want you to take a moment to think about how different the world would be if the “Cindy’s” and the “Tanya’s” of the world had changed their view, or what the world would be like without Google or Microsoft.
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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