One of the best stories (for me at least) of my career was the one where I stole Jonathan Lui. I landed in London at the end of January 2014 and the first conversation with my manager Andrew Jardine was just a request – “in order to be successful, I must have Jonathan Lui on my team.” While Andrew didn’t say, “no” he did set some serious requirements before a decision could be made.
First, I had to convince Jonny that the team was even worth joining. He was having a ton of success in his role and all I offered was risk.
Second, I had to convince Jonathan’s manager to divide roles and responsibilities for 6 months. I was asking for one of his best, a guy who would win Rackspace’s top award (Fanatical Jacket) in April that same year.
Lastly, Jonathan got to make the call at the end of the trial period.
Folks – I did everything legal (and few things that likely crossed lines) under the sun to get Jonny to pick our group. I like to write about succession planning and selecting who picks up the baton when you leave and while this little post is about that, it is also about picking “your people”.
We all have mentors, colleagues, leaders, and friends who we admire and want to copy. When you get the chance to do something challenging and potentially career changing with that person, move mountains to take advantage of that opportunity.
It is always about the people.