The problem with smart people
When hiring,promoting, even just putting together your team, you should look for the smartest people in the room, right? Not so fast.
Intelligence isone of those characteristics where there is a minimum level needed to be in the game(游戏中有些东西需要有一个最低水平，智力就是这样的东西). Once past that, too much intelligence can be a draw back or worse.
The Enron management team, for example, were known as “the smartest guys in the room.” Consider how well that turnedout. The former US energy trading company tapped its top talent to run some ofits most-profitable divisions, almost without supervision. The managers,despite their smarts, were an arrogant(傲慢的), insecure bunch(一帮人) who took wild chances and lost billions of dollars.The company dissolved in 2001.
Certainly, the jobfor which you’re hiring makes a difference. I do want big-time(一流的)intelligencefor researchers, analysts, and coders, but you can lock those folks in a roomand let them do their thing because they work on their own. If they lack emotional intelligence or interpersonal skills, any damage they do is limited because of their independent work.
But do I reallyneed to find the smartest managers?
The problem with smart people
The problem withreally smart people is that they often think they know more than everyone else.Maybe they do. But that doesn’t help them when they’re trying to get others tobuy into whatever they’re selling. For example, I was coaching one seniorexecutive who always seemed to be one step ahead of everyone else on her team.At least, that’s what she thought. One of the biggest challenges she faced wasrecognising that other managers didn’t necessarily view the world the same way.That meant she needed to invest the time to bring them along if she wanted toget traction on her preferred projects.
When you know theright answer, you often can’t believe that everyone else doesn’t just see thesame thing, and fall into line(看齐;同意).
Unfortunately,organisations don’t work that way. Especially when working with peers when youdon’t have direct authority over them, the only way to get momentum(活力;动力) toward your preferred outcome is to sellthem on the idea. Imposing your “superior” solution just doesn’t work.
The irony is thatsometimes the most talented person can make for(走向;成为)one of themost ineffective managers. You can see this in sports, for example, whereretired superstars often find it difficult to coach or manage successfullybecause they are now supervising lesser mortals(凡人) that weren’tblessed with the same degree of innate(天生的) talent.
Wayne Gretzky, theCanadian hockey legend who retired with more personal scoring records thananyone in the history of professional hockey, was remarkably ineffective as ahead coach. The same may be said about Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatestbasketball player ever, who has never been able to lead a successful basketballorganisation whether as general manager, president or owner.
It could be justas bad when we let the A-level crowd go to market with what they see as thebest product. I remember talking to managers at Singapore-based CreativeTechnology, Inc after the iPod had just been introduced by Apple. Creative hada technologically superior MP3 player, but customers preferred the iPod, to the utter dismay of the Creative managers(让Creative公司的经理们感到无比郁闷). Theyjust couldn’t understand how customers were so irrational!
But it turns outthat the best technology doesn’t always win, just like the smartest peopledon’t always succeed.
It’s not justbrainpower where more may also not be better. For example, is it good to keepreducing the time it takes for technicians to help customers requestingassistance via call-in centres? What about the quality of the advice, how thecustomer perceives the value of the advice or even whether it’s such a greatidea in the first place to try to optimise(优化)on speed?
Zappos, theUS-based online shoe store, actually rewards employees for spending more timewith customers who call in with questions about products they are thinking ofbuying. For Zappos, customer experience on a call trumps(击败;胜过)any simple metric that, in its view, canactually detract from profitability.
When employeesare motivated to cycle through customers as fast as possible, platitudes(老生常谈) that the customer comes first are justthat — empty, cynical slogans that mean nothing to sales staff(如果员工被鼓励尽量快速地应付完顾客，那么老挂在嘴上的“顾客至上”就变成空洞而讽刺的口号，对销售员来说没有丝毫意义).
And let’s notforget the side effect (副作用)thataccompanies this culture. People who really care about service look elsewherefor work. That leaves demotivated employees who actually do a good job ofhitting their time targets. In the end, you get what you want, but you losebecause of un-nuanced(粗狂的)thinking that more is better than less.
Call itbrilliantly fulfilling the wrong vision.
The quest for moremay well be the defining ethos(社会思潮，社会精神)of ourtime, but the downside that comes with this single-minded fixation warrants(值得) greater attention. Relying on the smartestand the most talented to lead and manage people and teams may be one of thosethings that sounds a lot better in theory than in practice.
Fall into line 看齐;同意
Make for 走向;变成
Side effect 副作用
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来源 : 网络 2017-05-24 15:49:23 关键字 : 雅思阅读
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