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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Be sure your sins may find you out

No post for the last few days as I've been somewhat busy doing the last minute arrangements for my wedding to Sandy in a few weeks time. However I've been reading a recent article in HBR in a case study about a promising candidate for a position with a multinational firm in China. A google search turns up that a few years ago she was involved in a active protest about China. It is interesting to see that recent letters that Hillary Clinton wrote during her teens at high school. Will this mean that in say 10 years time political analysts and employers will be trawling via Googlesoft or whatever is the dominant search engine to see what youthful indiscretions were posted on Facespace or other social networking site that they can use to discredit a candidate be it for political office or maybe for a senior position within an organisation.

To my mind, what we did as an individual 20 years ago and wrote down aren't an indication of the person that we are now - I know that I'm not. The danger is that people without a past tend to be innocuous and bland - and the leaders of the future will need to make hard and more far reaching decisions than they have had to in the past and deal with issues as yet unthought of.

Leaders and managers have had a past and have been involved in posting those thoughts to my mind in an effort to spread knowledge and to add their thoughts to the debate. Those are the people that I would want in my organisation and decisions are made by those who show up and contribute to the debate not those that hang back. I learnt from my father a long time ago that if people make a mistake, then accept it, learn from it and move on - don't hold the mistake against people for ever otherwise you get a person who will be overly cautious.

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