My honest opinion 

Recently a friend who was actively looking for work asked me my opinion on a job she wanted to apply to.

She had me at “your opinion”.

She was struggling with striking the right tone in response to the job posting that included this gem: “able to get shit done”.

I had to laugh because we have all wanted to say something like that in an ad. Come on. You totally did.

However my friend was a bit offended and thought it was unprofessional. She was asking me for ideas on how to respond to that point without going there.

My suggestion was that she either play along or don’t bother. Either you answer in kind and tell them how you are an expert shit handler or you take a pass on the job.  I mean the whole point of using a line like that is to ensure that anyone who would be put off by it would not apply.

I agree with my friend that it was not professional, in the traditional sense; however, it would be less of a shock to see this upfront than to discover after the fact that the “professional” company you just joined was just a front for the Trailer Park Boys fan club.

I am a fan of being honest and upfront, from both the employer and the candidate perspective.  Perhaps we are all so conditioned to play the games, read between the lines of the job ad/ résumé, and hold our cards close to our chest that it is hard to conceive that someone actually means what they are saying.

While I don`t think it`s necessary for employers to have to go so far as to attract candidates by being shocking or controversial, I do think it`s a good idea for them to be honest about who they are, so that candidates can make the right decision to either apply or keeping on walking by.

Of course, that`s just my opinion.






Hungry, Hungry HiPos

‘Tis the season for performance appraisals, evaluations, and incentive bonuses. And whether you like them or not, whether they fall into the pro or the con side of your list, performance management programs are generally a part of most organizations.

Sure some of them work.  Many of them don’t. And some of them work, but not in the way they were expected to.  Kind of like the employees they are meant to review.

I am not interested in going a round on whether your organization, or any organization should have a formal,  prescriped and likely biased way of rewarding…I mean incentivizing your employees.  What I wanted to hash out is the golden snitch of performance: the HiPo.


Can we pause for one second so that I can just point out how the term (and spelling of) HiPo is so obnoxious.  It’s about as annoying as people who text ”k” instead of “ok”. Seriously.

So for the remainder of this post, I will refer to HiPos as high-potentials. Sure it will make the post a little longer, but I am sure you will agree, it will make it slightly less nauseating.

High potentials are what most managers dream of finding.  Even better is a high potential that is nurtured from obscurity. Like the undiscovered and untapped star player that all the other coaches overlooked…under the tutilage and guidance of the new manager…behold the high potential that evolves into a high peformer – the trifecta of “aspiration, ability and engagement”

Of course, there is a change that labelling the employee as high potential might actually be a kiss of death…after all, there is no guarantee that they will achieve this potential.  That is if you actually tell the employee.

There’s an interesting dynamic at play in many organizations that strive to be high performing.  There is a struggle between relying  on the consistent high performers to deliver their characteristic high quality work and giving those select few high potentials an opportunity to take shine and possibly go in a new direction.

The risk that comes with going beyond identying someone on a succession chart and giving potential an opportunity to become reality can leave a manager (or organization) vulnerable.

However, there is also risk that comes with not being open to potential which can leave a manager (or organization) vulnerable.

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you feed your high potential or do leave it hungry?