Hayagreeva Rao stresses the importance of properly designing a job to avoid hiring the wrong people for the wrong reasons. He argues that when designing a job, it should either involve star tasks (strategic work) or guardian tasks (operational work). If star and guardian tasks are both included, some people might be discouraged from applying or the hired may focus on the tasks that are easy, but perhaps not most critical.
The author uses pirates as examples of how to assign tasks to leaders: captains were responsible for star tasks and quartermaster generals were responsible for guardian tasks. CEOs and COOs also commonly divide tasks this way, but Rao argues that this clean separation should be more common at lower levels in organizations.
Author: Hayagreeva Rao