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Border Collies, Labradors and Sales Managers

Border Collie2 If you’ve ever owned a Border Collie, you know that they have a simple purpose: Border Collies collect sheep (or ducks, or cattle, or even people at a party) into tidy groups, and move them around. For a shepherd, there’s nothing more useful than a good Border Collie to gather a flock and put it in a pen.

If you’ve ever owned a Labrador, you know that Labradors also have simple purpose: Labradors fetch ducks (or geese, or sticks or anything else that fits in their mouth) and brings them to a hunter.

For a hunter at the edge of a pond, there’s nothing more useful than a Labrador. A Border Collie, on the other hand, would be useless. The finest Border Collie in the world would not swim to fetch a duck. It’s just not in his programming. At the same time, a Labrador would never fetch a flock of sheep. He might fetch a single sheep if you shot it for him, but never the whole herd.

It turns out the concept of Border Collies and Labradors also applies to people.   Have you ever hired a person (or been hired) for a job that didn’t fit? (I’ve tried both, unfortunately!) No amount of effort or training will turn a great sales manager into an accountant. But, given the right job description and resources, that same sales manager becomes unstoppable.

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