Facing a hard truth can be an important beginning

 Anecdote, Reflection  Comments Off on Facing a hard truth can be an important beginning
Apr 122013

I had the task of giving a performance review to a scientist who was ineffective in his job, but felt he was doing an outstanding job. In a sense, it wasn’t his fault; no one had ever bothered to tell him where he stood. He was highly intelligent and had a PhD from a prestigious university, but we were doing applied research and development while his skills and interest were in basic research. He was shocked to receive the information on his rating, but to his credit he stayed in the conversation and before we were finished asked me what I thought he should do. I focused on his interest and skills in basic research and suggested he consider an academic career. He took a faculty position which was readily available given his credentials, eventually became a full professor, and finally chair of his department. It all became possible, because he had the courage to face and deal with a job misfit after I had pointed it out.

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