Trust Over Talent

Talent is overrated, and no, I’m not trying to imply that hard work triumphs over talent. There’s that, too, but let’s save that for another time. When we’re looking to hire someone, most of us default to looking at their CVs. What’s their talent? How is their performance? Are their numbers high?

Almost no one looks at their trustworthiness. Can you trust this person with your business or customers? Can you trust this person to treat others with respect and not poison the work environment? Can you trust this person not to sacrifice others for personal gains?

But there’s no easy way to measure trust, so most people simply take it for granted during the hiring process. And once they found out that the person they hired is high performance and low trust, they’re reluctant to fire that person, probably because of sunk cost and the pain of hiring another person.

Of course, everyone hopes to hire someone who is high performance and high trust, but such gems extremely hard to come by. The more realistic choice is, would you prefer to work with someone who is high performance but low trust, or would you rather they be low performance but high trust?

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