He GENUINELY deserved one. He just didn’t quite fit in. So, the right people weren’t willing to give him a go.
A few, easily learned skills were holding my friend back. Yes, this hurt him. It ALSO hurt his employer. My friend’s deep talent (that his employer was paying for) went under-used, underappreciated and over-spent trying to his own unfair situation.
While my friend was forced to spend years working out how to prove himself, his employer missed out on years and years of service from a truly great leader. THEY were missing out on a top performer.
It’s easy, as senior leaders, to complain about talent shortages… then look for shiny external solutions or promote internally to the person who is most obvious.
If you REALLY want the fix your business problems, try looking for the people who can GENUINELY make the biggest difference. Give THEM the chance to help you succeed. Even if it’s a bit less obvious. Even if it takes a bit of time at first. The rewards are soon much bigger.
Often, the greatest gifts are the people who are already right underneath our noses.