Another side of this, trying to make decisions, accept possibly not having all the answers, is in the hiring process. A long time ago I was involved in the hiring process for new employee. Now they wouldn’t be reporting to me directly, but I was in the hiring decision, I was mentoring them, ultimately I was responsible for their success.
So several candidates later in the process, I recommended we hire Chad. Now their name was not actually Chad, but for the purpose of the session their name’s Chad.
Chad was extremely good in the interview, great communication skills, good sense of humour, really matched with the culture vibe of our team, I thought we could work together. Usually if someone can learn and has really good communication skills, you can usually upskill them on whatever they’re lacking.
Now, the first project we got together on was a massive disaster. Even our most experienced people on the team were struggling, like this was not the best intro. But Chad seemed to be struggling a little bit more. I chalked it up to maybe learning new skills, being new, not the best first project to take on.
I ignored some red flags. I only saw them later. Things like:
Chad wasn’t learning from mistakes, the same issues were popping up again and again.
And Chad didn’t seem to absorb information, you’d often have to explain the same concepts over again.
And Chad was ignoring details, trying to get things done fast rather than focusing on, you know, doing it right.
I wanted to keep investing, right? It definitely couldn’t be that I was wrong about this person, right? There must be something that I’m doing, that I have not put this person into the right position yet, for them to succeed. I must have been right, right?
But the project failures continued, project after project. Eventually we had to admit this was not working.
I was wrong.
And I can see that, now, with conviction. But at the time? It was really hard to admit that I had made a mistake in how I chose someone to join our team.