Topic: 2×2 for hiring
Can/can’t take initiative
Can/can’t take direction
Relate to SSMV, explain typical mistakes (80/20 diversity).
Mistakes: 1) all Deltas, 2) all Betas, 3) all Alphas (sales esp.), 4) thinking sigmas != Gammas with high market value/desirableness.
All Betas is nice but too expensive.
Betas want to make partner, but not everybody can make partner or it loses meaning.
2×2 sounds like fun, let me guess:
alpha: iniative but not direction
beta: initiative and direction
delta: direction not iniative
Yup, you got it exactly.
Sigma and Gamma fall into the same square, the difference being that people will pay money to be around Sigmas.
Which leads us to the failure cases
Too many alphas means too many factions, too many people trying to undercut each other and get the edge, knock everyone else off the race for the top spot
less collective sacrifice of the kind needed for proper organizational funcitoning
With an all-Delta workforce, maybe because the leader is narcissistic and can’t negotiate with Alphas on their terms, the problem becomes resentment.
Deltas are like women in that, if they aren’t excited by larger-than-life characters telling them what to do, they get dissatisfied with the “lack of leadership/direction”.
you also have the problem that without alpha social confidence/dominance you end up giving far too much away in negotiations, dealings…get what you need less often…etc. organizaiton slowly withers
Yeah, that’s why you need a higher mix of them in sales-like businesses.
Anywhere you need someone negotiating via social dominance, and you can’t be there personally, you need an Alpha.
A Beta will do in a fix but they’re more expensive and they run out of steam doing that kind of work.
The trouble with Alphas is they actually need to be motivated by commissions, and they’re going to negotiate with YOU, Mr. CEO, for higher commissions.
If you aren’t comfortable negotiating yourself, that becomes a real hassle.
because for a beta the games are a means to an end, but for an alpha, the games themselves are effectively the end (because the real reason they’re doing it is for the thrill fo competing for dominance)
an alpha is energized where a beta is not
I’d adjust that slightly to say it’s about the dominance itself, not the competition.
The competition is indeed a thrill because of the feelings we associate with performing, but the payoff is WINNING.
An Alpha on a lifelong losing streak is going to find a different game, even if he’s very, very good.
Because it’s not about mastery of the craft for an Alpha, it’s about mastery over other people.
similarly, it’s why CEOs can change industries, because their value isn’t knowing the technical skills, it’s mastery over people
The least obvious failure mode is hiring a bunch of Betas.
This is most often phrased as “surrounding yourself with great people”.
“team of rivals”
Interesting phrase on its own.
The problem with “surrounding yourself with great people” is it undervalues the importance of having many good people (competent Deltas tradesmen) and having a few Alphas trying to push their own interests.
Betas can do everything Deltas can do and more, and they tend to get a lot of work done.
But they’re a crutch for weak leaders.
Weak leaders want to give vague directions and then let the creative geniuses around them get things done with initiative and panache.
Deltas don’t do that. They fix sinks and toilets with middling competence.
They also take too long and use their vacation time at the worst possible moments.
Most of them seem to think they work for the customer, not you. Some of them try to screw the customers because they don’t understand repeat business.
Like women, again, most of the time they’re a giant headache and feel like they’re not worth the trouble.
It takes a lot of energy to manage them.
Betas are just so EASY to work with.
But there aren’t very many of them. And if your company isn’t growing because you only hire the best, they’re going to go somewhere that pays better because management knows how to manage average people.
Sure, most companies these days are making the opposite mistake of this, but that’s for racial reasons.
It’s mostly a problem in the world of tech startups, AFAICT.
Probably due to the personality types who tend to start up new tech companies.
BYOM “Bring your own motivation.”
Well sir, I’m a Delta and my motivation is senpai.
the highly motivated do tend to assume everyone is as driven as they are, as willing and capable to take the ball and run with it
Half of the problem is dysgenics reducing general competence, half of the problem is increasing solipsism (i.e. no one appreciates anymore that most people think VERY differently from them), and half the problem is that big money is nowadays anticorrelated with general competence and empathy.
> thinking sigmas != Gammas with high market value/desirableness.
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