Have you ever worked for a company who hired an outside consultant to fill a role that you believed you were qualified to fill? Maybe you were even so bold as to make sure that your boss knew that you wanted that promotion and were excited and eager to take on new responsibilities. But in the end, the boss hired an outside consultant—a “gunslinger from out of town.”
There’s nothing wrong with hiring an outside consultant. In fact, I’m one myself. But “how” and “why” the company decides to hire the outside consultant is just as important to the outcome as the consultant who is eventually hired, or the loyal team members who were passed over–again.
Sometimes the motivation behind hiring an outside consultant isn’t made strategically, but rather out of panic or convenience–a desperate search to fill an imagined skills void, or more likely a “management confidence” void. If the choice to hire an outside consultant doesn’t come from a strategic decision-making process, one that seriously evaluates and considers using in-house talent–then the end result may leave a wake of chaos on your team—akin to when the gunslinger rides into town, leaves a wake of chaos wherever he goes to solve a short-term need, and then rides away to let the townspeople clean up the mess.
It’s not hard to imagine yourself as that loyal employee, performing the job you’re hired to do. Many times you’ve gone the extra mile and worked late to make sure a project was completed on time. Then, when an opportunity for a promotion to an exciting project is right in front of you, the boss hires an outside consultant and doesn’t even bother to discuss the appointment with you or anyone else on the team. You just show up one day to find that a gunslinger was summoned from out of town, and he’s sitting in the boss’ office with the door closed.
This kind of “we’ve got a problem, so hire a gunslinger” scenario runs rampant in many companies. The boss looks down at her organizational chart and sees the names of familiar faces, and it seems like a risk to promote one of them into a role they’ve never had before. After all, if they fail, then the boss is also seen as a failure. It’s extremely convenient to hire an outside consultant who has a track record of competence in that “one particular skill” the project requires. We never seem to have time to train an existing team member, or just give an eager team member more responsibility and let them bloom.
See my recent Association for Talent Development article to see how this “Quick! Hire a gunslinger!” mentality can affect your team, and how to boldly reject this mindset and instead trust in the ability and strengths already present on your Surging Team.
BOLDbreak has one purpose, and that is to provide team leaders and company owners the tools and training they need, to develop an unstoppable Surging Team, a team that repeatedly succeeds in achieving difficult and important company objectives. When teams win, increased company profitability follows! Contact me today and let’s discuss the actions that you as the team leader or company owner can take to boldly trust your team members and their combined strengths, in order to solve the problems your team will inevitably encounter as they pursue complex and important company goals.
Until then, Keep Winning!