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Employer Brand Management: Practical Lessons from the World's Leading Employers by Richard Mosley

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Chapter 6The Perfect Employee

Our rock stars aren't like your rock stars.

INTEL

In August 1935, the coal miner Alexei Stakhanov was hailed by Soviet Russia as the perfect worker. In the course of a single six-hour night shift he cut 102 tons of coal. This was 15 times higher than average. The Soviet propaganda machine turned Alexei into an iconic figure, creating what was known as the Stakhanov Movement to spread his example.1 From the point of view of the West, this mythologizing of the mighty Soviet worker has often been dismissed as no more than a primitive celebration of brute strength and relentlessly hard work. But there is more to the story than first meets the eye. In the Stakhanov Movement Explained, Alexei described his successful productivity in the following terms: ‘It requires only a public spirited attitude towards one's work and a thorough study of one's machinery and technique. Stakhanov work is a combination of manual and mental work. It enables Stakhanovites to show their mettle … to give free reign to their creative ideas.' Compare this with the following description of the qualities Google looks for in their ideal employee: ‘A desire to use technology to make the world a better place …“intrapreneurs” [that] develop and sell their ideas … Google looks for “Googliness” a mashup of passion and drive that's hard to define but easy to spot.'2 So what do the ideal target profile qualities of the progressive, twenty-first century, Californian icon Google have ...

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