Posted by: everynation | August 24, 2008

Leadership: Homegrown or Hired?

by Steve Murrell

Been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, so i have not been answering my phone, reading my email or updating my blogs. I’m back. Here are some vacation pix…

And here’s a new blog…
A recent Harvard Business Review article called “The Risky Business of Hiring Stars” confirmed what I’ve always believed, preached and practiced – that “homegrown” is the way to go when it comes to leadership development.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom from the article, followed by my brief comments in bold:

HBR QUOTE: “You are better off growing your stars than buying them.”
MY COMMENT: Growing leaders takes longer and cost more than buying leaders.

HBR QUOTE: “Top performers resemble comets more than stars: once they’re lured to another firm, their performance plummets by as much as 20% — permanently. That’s because just 30% of a star’s performance stems from individual capabilities: 70% derives from resources and qualities specific to the company that developed him – such as reputation, information technologies, leadership, training, and team chemistry. When you hire a star, he leaves all that support behind – so his performance flags.”
MY COMMENT: 70% of performance is b/c of the team, the training and the technology.

HBR QUOTE: “Grow your stars, don’t buy them. Recruit bright people through disciplined hiring practices. Use training and mentoring to develop them. Then strive to retain them – by helping them broaden their skills, publicity recognizing them, and easing their work/life tension.”
MY COMMENT: Gotta train them to retain them.

HBR QUOTE: “Even talented employees need coaching and mentoring to excel.”
MY COMMENT: Too often we only mentor young staff & new staff – but veteran, talented, experienced staff also need mentoring.

Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”


  1. i cldn’t agree more…

    this is a classic leadership culture, that i believe, i grew up in. this is also, in turn, what will catapult us to the future…

    grace, grace, grace.

    more grace to train and raise up more leaders for the kingdom.

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