Horns, Halos, and the Awkward Squad

An HR person, having listened to my recent predicament, rolled her eyes and sighed: “Horns and Halos.”

I’d not heard this expression, yet it’s simple to understand; managers’ new hires comes fitted with halos as standard — she must be good, I hired her! And because managers are fickle-folk, it takes just one disagreement, one late report, one poor judgement, one late delivery or one over spend, and a halo becomes a horn within a single compute cycle. We’ve all seen it, and maybe even participated in Russian Roulette management.

This week’s bad guy was last week’s hero. Good{e} went bad. Great skipped “OK”, and plumbed the depths of “basket-case” in one shake.

Here’s my recommendation: build a team of Horns. Gather the basket-cases. Build an awesome team from the cast-offs, the awkward-squad, the crazies that no one else could harness, tame, control and manage. Control is for the weak. Dispense with that worry!

I’m not talking about lazy people, the sicky-pullers, the shirkers, the teflon-coated nay-sayers. Fire all of them. I’m talking about the complainers; the ones that cannot abide mediocrity, they don’t do second-rate and they call-out rubbish work. You need these people in your team. You need their criticism and their relentless drive for high-standards.

You need the horn-wearing awkward-squad in your team.