Leadership Lessons from Rob Moyer: Own it

I met Rob Moyer at Ohio University. We lived in the same dorm our Freshman year and stayed friends throughout college. We ended up reconnecting after college as we ended up in similar industries. I was an entry-level IT professional and Rob was an IT recruiter.

In 2010, I was promoted to IT Supervisor and lead a team responsible for IT Infrastructure and Technology Support at American Health Holding. I was assigned a large project to replace our company’s phone system and had to temporarily increase the size of my team. I wasn’t sure where to start so I gave Rob a call.

Rob had built a solid network of entry-level talent that would jump at the opportunity to gain some practical experience. Rob sent me a few resumes. I reviewed them and scheduled some initial screenings. I remember being really nervous about the interviews despite the fact that I was on the other side of the table for the first time in my career.

I ended up hiring one of the candidates. I felt good about his interview but not great. He had a solid answer for every question I asked but something didn’t feel right. I ignored my gut and decided to make the hire.

I don’t remember when I thought there was a problem after the candidate started but it couldn’t have been more than a few hours. I wasn’t able to find them at their desk for hours at a time. When they were at their desk, they were usually reading a book despite the fact that there was plenty of work available for them. Unfortunately, things got worse before they got better.

His second day, he didn’t show up to work. I ended up giving him a call to make sure everything was OK. A few hours later, he let me know that he was experiencing car issues but would be in tomorrow. Something didn’t feel right.

His 3rd day of work, he let me know that he wouldn’t be able to make it in due to continued car issues. His recruiter Rob Moyer offered to drive him to work the rest of the week but he declined. Looking back, I wish I had just asked him point-blank what was going on and what I could do to help. There was clearly something preventing him from wanting to perform the job.

I ended up giving Rob a call. Not only was this my first hire. This was Rob’s first consultant placement. We weren’t sure what to do.

After a few more days, Rob and I both came to the consensus that we had to cut our losses. We both would have to explain to our bosses what happened. We needed to be transparent. Rather than deflect blame, we decided that we would own the issue as well as the resolution.

Rob committed to me that he would find a replacement by the end of the business day. Sure enough, he sent over a rock star candidate that lacked formal experience but had great communication skills and a passion for technology. We ended up hiring the replacement candidate who did a great job throughout the project.

I learned a few things during this transition…

  • Trust my gut especially during the interview processe
  • Be transparent
  • Own your mistakes and be the one to fix them
  • Only work with strategic partners that act with integrity

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