Do You Remember the First Time??

Bit of a random blog here but on my way home from work yesterday I was listening to Marquee Moon by Television. A good few years old, I know, but still an incredible debut album.

Incredible because it sounds so fully formed…for a first attempt it sounds like a band that had been together for ages and in total mastery of their sound. There have been many other great debut albums – Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Stone Roses, and Arctic Monkeys to name but 4 personal faves – where everything that the group had worked and practiced for, believed in and hoped for, seemed to come together at the first attempt.

For all of them it’s arguably the case that the debut was their best and nothing they did after ever matched it again.

It got me wondering… what happens when your first shot is your best shot?

If you start a new job, what if your first few months are as good as it’s going to get?

If you’re in HR, what if your first interventions/strategies are the most effective?

If you’re in sales, what if your first quarter is your best quarter?

Will your future achievements be defined by and measured against your first ones?

There are lots of workplace scenarios in which you can start off firing on all cylinders and end up fizzing out. Over years in recruitment I have interviewed many candidates who have started their new roles like a runaway train and then seemed to lose their appetite or creativity.

I’m interested to know how you deal with this. How many chances do you give someone to show that they can still do it? How long does someone live off their early promise?

With the exception of the Arctic Monkeys, all the other bands I mentioned split after 2 or 3 albums…if you’re someone who gets your new role off to a flyer, then maybe struggles to get that momentum back, when do you know if it’s time to quit trying and seek a new challenge?

Despite splitting, they are all still very influential bands, even now…so do we lose our effectiveness and influence the longer we try (unsuccessfully) to replicate early successes?

Let me know what you think…