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February 12, 2019

Jumping Jacks and Sleeping Santas

The Legend


Jumping Jacks (JJ) : Individuals who hop from one company to another, not staying long enough in one company. How long is long enough? Unfortunately, that is very subjective and not to be questioned.

Sleeping Santas (SS) : Individuals who stay in a company long enough and show no intentions of leaving it any time sooner. How long is long enough? Unfortunately, that is very subjective but has been questioned in private.


Every Coin Has Two Sides

The objective of this post is not to take sides on which personality type is good. There are a ton of rants and prejudiced views on this subject. The goal of this post is to encourage you to take the blinders off your eyes and motivate you to explore and learn about the candidates you come across during hiring in your company.
Let us go through 10 common traits and see how each is perceived in positive and/or negative way for both of these personalities. Needless to say, the objective of this post is help see you both sides of a coin in the hopes that it stops you from being judgemental.

Traits What is your definition of it? And what is your company's definition of it?
Loyalty JJ shows his loyalty in his work contributions that add value to the company. SS shows his loyalty by staying with the company.
Patience JJ as skilled professional is keen on sharpening his skills over other soft-skills so to say. SS as management guy bets on his soft-skills that is more important in his job functions.
Ambition JJ is ambitious. He is willing to charter the unknown territory. SS is ambitious too and is trying hard to prove his mettle in the given place.
Personal Commitments JJ has personal obligations that is forcing him to hop. SS has personal obligations that is forcing him to stay at his current job.
Opportunities JJ perhaps didn't have opportunities that SS got. Is it JJ's mistake to not wait till he gets it in his current role or his company's to not have provided sooner is left to be explored.
The Boss JJ had a boss he did like. SS got a fantastic mentor. Remember no company is bereft of jerks. The question is identifying who is a jerk, the reportee or his/her manager. What if a reportee for no fault of hers had been unfortunate enough to have had rogue boss who has harassed him/her that he/she tried to get out of but couldn't and is attempting to hop again in good hopes about future.
The Culture Culture is one thing that is easily imitable but hard to sustain. JJ likely didn't fit the team or organisation's culture. Note, not all teams in a company are reflective of its culture. Does a team have a manager or a boss?
Education The break could be because of education. JJ worked for a while before doing his higher education, while SS completed his degrees that he desired in one sitting. You want to judge who is better in this, good luck to you.
Health JJ unfortunately had to pass through the phases of ill-health of his family members and his very own. That could have affected his work life. Do you see the big cloud in that phase of his/her life or the silver lining in that phase of his/her life from the grit to fight and overcome it all? That shows your attitude (that you could always blame on your company).
Evolution Man evolves. The folks who were jerks in their early lives could have evolved for better in their later lives. Do you bet on his bad past or his current strengths or his potential future is your call (or your teams) and that shows your company's value system.

The Conclusion


This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a ton of things that dampens and hampers ones life. And common-sense should tell you that any person can go through a combination of these and more in the course of their life. Just because you have been lucky enough to have a smooth ride all through, doesn't mean every other guy is going through life the same way that you do. Know the person you are getting to interact with.

I just listed the most prominent things that I have observed, experienced and learned over the course of my time interacting with people. This thought process of stopping, observing and understanding others is called EMPATHY. Leaders that empathise win, for they know what they pick and who they are working with. Are you a leader?

Stop judging (seeing things black and white), start learning (see the shades, the colors and their context).

May we stay humble to learn from others. Cheers!

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