“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor”

Elon Musk

Every employer I talk to is frustrated with the state of the current employment base.  Workers seem less committed to long-term employment.  Tenures of their employees seem to be shrinking.  No one is interested in building a long-term career.  Nothing is like it used to be.

Or is it?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not much has really changed on the tenure of the average employee of a salary and wage job in over 50 years. 

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In fact, the last decade has been the best season for “sticking with the same job” in the last 50 years.  Maybe things aren’t that bad, but perception trumps reality every time.  The fact that it feels like it is so much worse has some wide-ranging implications.

Leaders I know talk about the significant bet they are making on each subsequent hire.  They are waking up to the reality of the incredible cost of a bad hire or the benefit of the right one.  They spend a lot of time weighing the risk or reward of each hiring decision.  

It feels almost like the risk you take when you go to Vegas for a little gambling.  You know the odds are stacked against you, but you are betting your luck might be a little better than the next person.  That you may somehow beat the odds.  It feels like you are talking all the risk in the equation…that all the betting being made is yours and a real payoff is unlikely or at least really rare.

We spend a lot of time with our leaders helping them get clearer about who they are and where they are going.  We get real specific about the team they need to get them there and exactly what is expected of every person on the current and future team.  We help them develop mature processes on how to find, filter, and on-board.

But what likely makes the most difference in their hiring success is that we awaken them to proper humility, integrity, and the nobility of their leadership. The level of care they must have as they oversee each member of their team.  The way they invite them into ownership of culture, celebrate them, and let them participate in organizational success.

Because the right balance in an employee/employer relationship is that they are lucky to have the job, but we are also lucky to have them as an employee.  If we are managing things well, there is a mutual benefit to both of us that is balanced and has both of us feeling fortunate to have the other.

At the end of the day, we are not only betting on them, they are betting on us.  

As risky and precarious as it feels to us, it feels as risky and precarious to them.  The stakes are just as high.  We are both pushing our stacks of chips to the middle of the table.


  • Do you feel like you are betting on every hire?
  • Do you feel the weight of the fact that they are betting on you?
  • Is the cost/benefit for you and each of your employees equal?
  • Do you feel like you are lucky to have them working for you and do they feel the same?