Candidate Selection Rule #1 – People don’t change

There is a school of thought, led mainly by uneducated pedlars of success, which maintains that people can change…

That it is possible for someone, after 30 years (or ten thousand eight hundred and fifty days) of mediocrity to suddenly burst forth as a new person.

This is folklore. Quite worthwhile stuff though, since it enables the failures of our world to console themselves that, “Come Monday I will be a new and successful person.” It provides hope. As Wilde said, “Ambition is the last refuge of failure.”

Cast your mind back over all the people you have ever recruited and try to recall even one who emerged from a lifetime chrysalis of mediocrity to become a dynamic self-starter. Perhaps it can happen, but we are talking about life habits which, after age twenty five or so, have actually become part of an individual’s personality. You won’t change this overnight.

Certainly the likes of Billy Graham may have claimed success in turning atheists into religious zealots, but that is no real change: they just ran from one extreme to the other while still retaining their basic extremist personality. J.A.C. Brown makes the point that conversion of any form of extremism is simply changing dogmas while still retaining the basic trait of dogmatism.

If you still want to believe in the folklore of ‘instant success personality’ you are welcome, but don’t bet on it at an interview to select a salesperson. The odds are stacked against you, and the stakes are too high.

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