Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lessons from "Lin-sanity."

As I reported in an earlier post about the New York Knicks' unlikely star point-guard, Jeremy Lin, his sensational story continues. Last night the Knicks won their fourth straight game, this time over the LA Lakers--a legitimately good team, with Lin scoring a whopping 38 points, four more than demi-god (and accused rapist) Kobe Bryant.

Lin has scored 89 points in his three games as a starter, more than the first three starting games of any NBA player in 30 years.

This morning on NPR there was, almost inevitably, there was a short piece on Lin and the Lin phenomenon. It included this insight by Lin himself.

"Most scouts assess a player in five minutes. If he's not incredibly fast, if he doesn't have 'mad hops,' he doesn't make the grade."

Lin's game is one, apparently, it takes time to appreciate. He sees the court well. He has wild basketball smarts (as you'd expect from a player from Harvard), he changes speeds and he is an adroit passer. None of these skill register instantaneously.

In our "I need it done yesterday world" we too often rush to snap judgments. We assess work, thinking, talent, insight, integrity and more in a flash.

We don't assess, we prejudge.

I have been in a hiring position, looking at portfolios since 1993. I have always looked at them the same way. I go through every page. The ones I don't like, I put aside. The ones I do like, I put aside and come back to 24-hours later and go through them again.

If Jeremy Lin--and thousands like Jeremy Lin--were evaluated properly, he wouldn't have been cut by two teams.

1 comment:

Adasaurus said...

HR has become the gatekeeper in most companies so real talent doesn't get to meet the decision maker. He simply has to choose what ever gets past their"Expert Judgement". A friend who works for a large drug company which has had huge and unending rounds of layoffs ended up working in the companies HR department after losing his job, His new job was to create scenarios on why this was a good company to work for. I suggested Job security
might be better than the free coffee
and health club.