You say “Blink.” I say, “Sway.” “Blink.” “Sway.” “Blink.” “Sway.”
Grab your morning coffee and lead yourself to Marci Alboher’s “The Tyranny Of First Impressions” in the Sunday Times.
Without actually reading “Sway” it’s premature to draw any conclusions but it certainly seems that this book is a twist on Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”. Or maybe at least the other side of the coin such that gut first impressions can also lead to mistakes. No surprise there, eh?
That said, there is also a substantial number of studies that clarify the importance of team work, group dynamics, etc. as part of the success equation. In fact, Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” said, “Get the right people on the bus” not “Get the most qualified on the bus.” If fact, if “most qualified” was the only criteria then all entrepreneurs would be MBAs and even Bill Gates would be out of a job since he is a college drop out. Lucky for us Bill stuck it out and hired himself.
Yes, these two brother have a point and everyone agrees that more objectivity – tests and the like – in the hiring process would be a good thing. On the other hand the reality is that the best answer is probably somewhere between total objectivity with regards to experience/talent and the subjective can this person fit into our organization? Many a great ball player has suffered after a trade. Just as many great ball players have come to life after being traded to the “right” team. There is far more to success than pure talent – which can be very subjective anyway – since it is widely said, “Past performance is no indication of future returns.”
As difficult as it is being human, we should all probably increase our efforts to be more objective, as well as to be more attentive to what is and can be, not so much what was. Unfortunately, we also tend to trust most people and thus “Actions speak louder than words” is too often forgotten until it’s too late.