South-Western - Management  
Letting the Air Out of Celebrity Leaders
Topic Leadership
Key Words promotion, leadership
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

The standard rhetoric in 1998 about hiring was "hunt down the best people, shower them with money, and shed those who couldn't keep pace." Recent publications dispute this, however, giving more credit to ordinary individuals who work hard rather than the superstars with big paychecks.

Five myths we've built up about management heroes are described and discussed:

  1. The company with the smartest, most talented people wins. You don't need superstars to create a great management team.
  2. Place employees into categories based on abilities, and get rid of the bottom tier. Sometimes employees aren't performing to the best of their ability because they are in the wrong place or they are not incentivized.
  3. You must pay top dollar for top performers. Don't underestimate the power of loyalty. It is more important to have people feel socially committed to the company than financially, because there's always someone out there who will offer more money.
  4. You need to go outside the company to hire the best talent. There is a downside to bringing in someone from outside, including time it takes to build trust and possible resentment from insiders.
  5. There is fierce competition for a few talented individuals. There is no shortage of talent available, but there is a shortage of great companies to work for.


Explain the difference between internal and external recruiting. What are the benefits to going outside the company for managers, and what are the potential drawbacks? How would you, as the hiring manager, manage these issues?


Describe some tools you might use to help determine if an outside recruit will be successful in your company.

Source Joshua Macht, "Letting the Air Out of Celebrity Leaders," Business 2.0, March 2002.
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