Great People Are Hard to Find

Each day on this blog I share a lesson I have learned. Here is today’s lesson.


Before the interview started I knew Ted was over qualified for the position. It was an entry-level position. His last job was CEO of a national firm.

The title of Chief Executive Officer is lucrative and demanding and Ted excelled in the position, as well as all the positions that led him there, for several years. I was curious why he wanted to give that up. I even said, “You did notice this is an entry-levelĀ position, right?”

He laughed, understanding why anyone might be confused as to why someone would want to go from CEO to lowest position on the totem pole. I could actually relate more than he knew as I did something similar years ago. A CEO, it is assumed, has money, power, and respect. All of those are nice but what Ted really wanted was to live a life where his children knew his name and were excited to see him when he came home.

“I feel like my job for the last 10 years has been to fly around the country and apologize for other people’s mistakes. I just want to be recognized for my contribution and receive an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Then I want to go home and enjoy my time with my wife and kids. That’s all.”

What a powerful statement.

Unfortunately, the position Ted was applying for was put on hold and will not be filled for at least another month or two. I found that out right after the interview and shared Ted’s story with the owner of our company.

He said, “Ted sounds like a great person and great people are hard to find. We can’t hire him for that role but let’s meet and see if we can find a home for him somewhere in our organization.”

I don’t know where Ted will fit in but a good leader recognizes talent and when a superstar is dropped on the doorstep, that leader knows not to send them away.

Great people are hard to find so when you do find them, don’t send them away. Give them a reason to stay and contribute.

You can always try to find a place for talent and initiative.