Why Hidden High Potentials Aren’t Trusted

Man raising his eyebrow. ? 2008 Lee J Haywood. Via Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Trust, it seems, is the glue that makes organizations sing. But you don’t necessarily need much of it to succeed. And you can simply eat off the store trust (social capital) built through long years of hard work by those who came before.

Come to think of it, it doesn’t take long to eat through a century’s worth of social capital.

I’ve been thinking about this as a result of reading Francis…

Role-Playing Games as a Metaphor for Your Work History

Gray cyborgs at DragonCon in Atlanta. (c) E. Forrest Christian

I spent months of my life working on this, bringing to full realization the many and varied lands, peoples and beasts of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth!

And I did not — not — do this so that five minutes into the game some players could, and I quote, “Open an evil can of hobbit butt-whup on those Rivendell pretty boys.”

John Kovalic, Dork Tower

Did you ever think that your…

Warn of Problems, Then Become the Scapegoat

Domestic goat smile, Crimea, 2009. By George Chernilevsky. Public Domain

Hidden high potentials (2HiPo’s) have a significantly higher risk of being scapegoated by teams than do normal people. People with too much going on are irritating and usually seen as a threat, which is why 2HiPo’s also adopt some strange behaviors that serve to obfuscate their high level of capability.

There’s not much that I can see you can do when the group turns on you. I’ve been on t…

Being Happy Makes You Less Productive. Sometimes.

Suck My Kiss by Jan Tik. CC BY 2.0

Happy workers are better workers, right? Nope. At least not all the time. And maybe not even most of the time. Find out why. [Full Post]

NY Times on Unscrupulous Job Search Firms

(c) 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Article in NY Times about how job search firms can rip you off.

When Your Boss Is Undermining You

Typists. By Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940). ca. 1915. George Eastman House Collection.

Tom Foster has a post recently about what to do when your manager starts to give your management tasks to a coworker, all the time saying that you are still the boss.

I’ve had this happen and I wish that I had known this bit of advice back then. It wouldn’t have helped any — but I would have perhaps resolved things earlier. It also complements some things I’ve been telling my privat…

Callings and Purpose

Genevieve Clark on telephone, circa 1910.

Callings drive your sense of purpose. It doesn’t have to be religious but it is usually “spiritual”. Your sense of purpose in vocation at work is important.

Two Actions You Must Take to Match Your Resume to Your LinkedIn Profile

Genevieve Clark on telephone, circa 1910.

Your LinkedIn profile must match your CV / resume, according to recruiters who check.


We operate in our own separate worlds, and pay no attention to others in our midst who are also talking on a cellphone. By Ed Yourdon, CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

We religious types talk about callings a lot. Christians of the Calvinist mindset even call all work, “your calling”. Other Americans have caught on, and many spiritual people of various types talk about callings. It’s not a term restricted to people of a particular faith, or even of any faith. Saying that you have a calling seems to encapsulate something important, something big.

I think that Calling is an important topic for most hidden high potentials. We use the term when we talk, seeing many of your frustrations through of the lens of frustrated calling. It’s an important topic, one that I’m now convinced I have to deal with openly. There’s just one small problem.

How Do You Know What You Can Do If There’s No One Modeling It?

Fashion painting of models. 52nd Street New York, N.Y., ca. 1948. William P. Gottlieb. Public domain.

Dan Ariely, in Predictably Irrational, says “We don’t even know what we want to do with our lives — until we find a relative or a friend who is doing just what we think we should be doing.” Hidden high potentials often never get a model like this. What should they then do?

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