Too many businesses suffer from ‘Magic Person Syndrome’ – waiting for the perfect executive to fix their problems.
Recently, a company I work with decided to hire a new executive to head up a number of projects that needed common direction. It was a long, thorny search, and the woman to whom they offered the job had to relocate. During the wait, the company put off hiring more junior staff so that the new executive could build her own team. They put other decisions on hold, too, awaiting her input. Her “to do upon arrival” list grew, along with the company’s expectations.
At the last minute – in this case, for a good reason – the new hire had to back out of the job. This disruption was bad enough. But because so much had been deferred until her arrival, overall progress at the company was set back at least 6 months.
This is a very common mistake I call “Magic Person Syndrome.” I have been afflicted with it myself more than once. It strikes small startups and large companies with equal deadliness.
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