Typical vs Maximal Performance

You are a business owner interested in hiring a new employee to fill an essential opening in your company. After an extensive search, you narrow your choice of candidates down to two people.

The first person, Avery, has a high-performance ceiling. By this, I mean that when they are at their best, few people are better than Avery at what they do. However, in most situations, Avery can be considered somewhat of a slacker. Day in and day out, the level of performance they give you could be described at best, a little below average.

The second person, Jaime, is known for consistency. Jamie is the type of person that will give you pretty good results every time they show up for work. However, in clutch situations, Jaime struggles to provide you with any more than what they already give you daily. That is, when pushed to their limit, we find that Jaime’s upper potential is nowhere near what Avery is capable of producing.

With this scenario in mind, create a blog post (250-300 words) where you answer the following questions.

  1. If you were in the shoes of the business owner and had to choose which person would you hire (Avery or Jaime) and why?
  2. Describe a type of job where it would be better to hire someone like Avery (i.e., high potential, poor consistency) than Jaime? What is it about that job that makes someone like Avery more valuable than Jaime?
  3. Describe a type of job where it would be better to hire someone like Jaime (i.e., low potential, high consistency) than Avery? What is it about that job that makes someone like Jaime more valuable?

If I were the business owner in this situation, I believe I would go with Avery. I want talent slightly more than I want consistency, and by giving that person set goals and new things to work on I think they will work well. Now of course which one you choose depends on what you need at the time so this is a tough question. However, I value people that think outside the box and can work “miracles” within my business.

In Avery’s case I’m picturing an entrepreneurship type business that needs new ideas and exceptional people. They are perfect for positions that require creativity and do not have set timelines. If its your average business that is hiring a normal position, Jamie is a smart and capable choice. I would say Avery could possibly work in a new company, but I think they would thrive in a business that wants to change, also, in any arts related business. I would even hesitantly say that Avery could be a CEO, although I think they would need a lot of Jamies’ to pull that off. This allows them to work in a flexible work environment, and keeps their interest secure.

In Jamies case, I imagine a supply chain management type of job. The Jamies’ of the world are needed just as much as the Averys’ but there tends to be more need of Jamies’ because they work so well no matter the environment. They can enter any job and will work hard and produce good results. Plus they are consistent, reliable, and trustworthy to both clients and fellow employees. Jamie could work well as an employee or a manager equally. They could possibly be a CEO, but need to be able to have an Avery working along side them in order to push their business to become a leader in industry. Jamies’ tend to succeed under someone’s management or with a direct schedule and to do list.

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One reply on “Typical vs Maximal Performance”

Hi Isabel,

Choosing Avery over Jamie definitely depends on the type of business you’re in. In my office, we have both types of employees and each are needed for their various strengths. Continuing this analogy, Avery would need set timelines which is contrary to your point. While Avery could thrive in my office, we would need to set clear expectations and timelines in order to help keep them on track.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts this week!

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