The Olympic Medal for Dubious Achievement Goes to…


The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are well underway and, as always, we are struck by the amazing feats of humanity, drama, and achievement on display. In the spirit of the Olympic motto: “Citius, Altius, Fortius” – faster, higher, stronger – we present our own victor’s medals to a group of worthy competitors in the following events:

Gold Medal – Triple Jump

The world record of 60 feet – think the pitcher’s mound to home plate in three steps – was smashed by our client who, during a search, changed location requirements for an operations executive position not once (from Gillette to Rock Springs, Wyoming), or twice (then to Minot, North Dakota), but three times (ending in Shreveport, Louisiana). Our final candidate didn’t know whether to unpack his bags after accepting, or head straight to the airport and await the next move.

Silver Medal – Diving

One of the critical elements to a winning dive is landing in the water without leaving a trace…as did a finalist CFO candidate who, after accepting and resigning from his previous employer, moved to a new home and changed cell phones without notifying our firm or his new employer…disappearing into the waters without contact information for more than a week before resurfacing.

Gold Medal – Rhythmic Gymnastics

An event based on artistic exposition and interpretation, to the candidate who – in response to my colleague’s request for a brief personal career summary – responded with a 40 page PowerPoint presentation, with a title slide: “Who is Joe Johnson? Leader, Family Man, Writer, Violinist, Humanitarian…” and on from there…the judges were also awarded a special medal of valor for staying awake through the program.

Bronze Medal – Pole Vault

Awarded for ability to aerially surmount obstacles…to my colleague who found herself trapped in a client’s automated, off-site, fenced-in parking structure –  after business hours, when a meeting ran over…while she didn’t exactly clear the six-foot barricade “aerially” (see photo), she managed to get out in one piece. 

Did Not Compete – Synchronized Swimming

To our client who – when faced with a narrow window of interviewer availability – considered scheduling two highly confidential CIO candidates (niche industry peers who knew each other well) to interview on the same day, in the same 5 hour stretch, in neighboring conference rooms, with interviewers rotating between the two…thankfully, they came to their senses and rescheduled to a “singles” format.

Gold Medal – Marathon

The epic endurance title, to our indefatigable candidate who braved 26 individual interviews over a five-week span, across four continents…paced himself, stayed hydrated, never lost sight of the finishing line, and, yes, he got the position!

Bronze Medal – Kayak

To my colleague in New Jersey (and to everyone else in that state!) who was repeatedly and stunningly  hit with major storms, power outages, and flooding throughout this past winter, spring, and summer – but always managed to navigate through the rapids and get to the office!

Long may the Games continue! 




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