Typical vs. Maximal Performance

Business owners are challenged when deciding between candidates that foster high potential and poor consistency or low potential and high consistency traits. The deciding factor for me would be the job that is getting filled, which in this case is considered an important position. This type of position requires someone who can set an example for other employees while being dependable and reliable. It requires someone that will consistently “show up” every day. For these reasons, I would choose Jaime, the candidate with low potential and high consistency. 

A job where a high potential and poor consistency(Avery) employee would be helpful could be a firefighter. This job requires (from an outside perspective) a mediocre level of effort most of the time; however, when it comes time to be in action, the potential has to be high to problem solve and be creative. If the person cannot work effectively in a high-pressure situation, they will fail at this job, which makes Avery valuable.

On the other side of this, a position where a low potential and high consistency(Jaime) employee could be helpful could be data entry. This would be a good fit because it is low stress, the job details are clearly outlined, and it requires a consistent amount of effort.  Jaime would be valuable because the employer can expect the same level of work and work commitment every day which is essential when entering daily data.

The biggest challenge I would face as an employer is wanting to alter candidates like Avery, that have high potential and low consistency. Maybe past employers haven’t created an environment that allows the consistency to be higher? Or perhaps the candidate will always have low consistency, and this is not something training or reward systems can fix.

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