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Harvard Business Review on Finding & Keeping the Best People by Harvard Business Review

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Let’s Hear It for B Players

by Thomas J. DeLong and Vineeta Vijayaraghavan

IN THE MUCH-HERALDED WAR FOR talent, it’s hardly surprising that companies have invested a lot of time, money, and energy in hiring and retaining star performers. Most CEOs find that recruiting stars is simply more fun; for one thing, the young A players they interview often remind them of themselves at the same age. For another, their brilliance and drive are infectious; you want to spend time with them. Besides, in these troubled times, when businesses are failing left and right, people who seem to have what it takes to turn a company’s performance around are almost irresistible.

But our understandable fascination with star performers can lure us into the dangerous trap ...

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