Are You a Sucker for Potential?


Congratulations. You utilize a range of best practice techniques to find and select the right person for a key position.  You use instruments like the Predictive Index® or Caliper®.  You use a combination of team and individual interviews that includes the Top Grading® method.  You have a highly experienced HR department or professional recruiters. You utilize Accolo® or other cloud sourcing. Your job descriptions are clear. The performance metrics are spelled out. Coaching and/or mentoring are in place. A meeting rhythm is consistently followed.

But, you STILL end up with a key executive who works too slowly, avoids making important decisions, or talks a good game but doesn’t deliver.

Despite the relatively high rates of unemployment around the country we are STILL seeing executives of midsized companies accepting mediocre performance, being suckers for potential, waiting too long to let someone go. In every situation, the executives involved KNEW early on that the newly hired team member was the wrong choice.  He/she didn’t fit the culture.  He/she wasn’t trying hard enough.  He/she didn’t seem to understand the urgency of the situation.  And yet the executives didn’t speak up, express their concerns, or exercise provisions in their employment contracts (like probationary periods).

Yes, it is expensive to recruit, screen, select and train an executive.

But it is far more expensive to retain “the wrong person in the wrong seat on the wrong bus.”

Not only is the performance of the company compromised, tolerating poor performance from one key role is a disincentive to the other members of the team.  Plus continued tolerance of mediocrity reduces the credibility of the top executive.

Excuse my ranting here…I do understand giving folks a chance…but a great deal is riding on the FIT…the effort…the pacing…the performance…the results.

Ask yourself IF and WHY you STILL have “C” level performers on your executive team at a time when so many very capable people are available.


Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search.  2013 is Ambler’s 9th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr.) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Aldonna has been a very valuable business confidant, advisor, motivator and mentor. It is very obvious to our management team that she has a keen insight into and genuine interest in our business and our success.

Mary Casey
Former CEO, HealthBridge, Inc.

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