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Hire outside your industry

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Gautam Mukunda is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who has closely studied effective leaders. His research has led him to believe that hiring outsiders for leadership positions can often be the most effective solution. The same idea can apply to any position. Here is why hiring people outside your industry is a good idea: 

  • They think differently. Sometimes the best answer to problems is to hire someone who doesn’t think like everyone else in your field. For example, someone with strong leadership or sales experience but little experience in your field can bring fresh, unique ideas to the table. Mukunda’s research found that outsiders adapt more easily to changes and are more willing to shake things up a bit.   
  • They make bigger impacts. Historically, presidents like Lincoln, who had less experience, made a bigger mark during their terms. Like trained politicians, a group of experts in your field would all likely make the same decision when presented with the same situation. Outsiders likely have a different perspective and thus a different solution. That expands your options and increases your chances of success.

— Adapted from “Great Leaders Don’t Need Experience,” Gautam Mukunda, www.hbr.org. 

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