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Jason-

Understood. But…

  1. I would be willing to wager a large sum of money that each one of the other judges on American Idol would say that those 7 behaviors also apply to them.
  2. I would be willing to wager a large sum of money that we could find American Idol fans that would say that those 7 behaviors also apply to other judges…maybe in some cases more so than Simon.

This is a perfect example of how the concept of “talent” is far more complex, dynamic and contextual than we generally believe…and how behavior is more contextual than we generally believe. We are each different from each other and we can express the same behaviors differently.

You like Simon. You think that Simon is a good judge (talented). I would suggest to you that your evaluation of Simon is as much about you and about the people Simon is surrounded by and next to as it is about Simon and what he does. Part of the reason you like Simon is because he is seated next to someone you consider to be borderline incompetent. Part of the reason that some people like Paula is that they believe Simon is borderline incompetent.

My point here is not really even about the value of diversity, but about our evaluation of someone being influenced strongly by the context, and the contrast of who they are surrounded by (and our own preferences, tendencies and orientations). Some of us are drawn to Simon and would like to work with more people like him. Some of us are more drawn to Randy or Paula or the New Person.

The 7 behaviors you are looking for are pretty commonly appreciated behaviors…those are things that many if not most of us are looking for in co-workers…the difference is in our individual interpretations and the context. For you, Simon is the embodiment of those behaviors. As crazy as it may sound, there are people that consider Paula to be the perfect embodiment of the exact same behaviors. There are people that value those 7 behaviors, but would hate to work around Simon.

So, I believe that you could set out to hire people with those 7 behaviors and end up with a team much like the American Idol judges…or you could set out to hire people with those 7 behaviors (and what they look like from your perspective) and end up with a team that is much more like a group of Simon clones…and likely dysfunctional.

-joe

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