sparkChief & Co.

Are You Betting on the Right People?

Ali Kursun
4 min readJul 17, 2023


The essence of any successful business is all about knowing how to bet on the right people. Successful organisations depend on leaders who make the right bets on investments, businesses, markets, products, or technologies — and especially on people.

The following three tips illustrate how leaders can improve their chances of betting on the right people to grow their business and maximise returns for all stakeholders.

Tip 1. Don’t Confuse Betting with Gambling.

For starters, one should not confuse betting with gambling, as there is a significant difference: Gambling is a matter of pure luck, while betting is a matter of strategy. Leaders cannot build and grow sustainable businesses based on pure luck.

Many people, unfortunately, do not understand this subtle difference between the two activities. In gambling, a person’s skill set hardly plays any role in the process. However, betting requires the person to be deeply informed about the strengths and the influences of all possible factors that have the ability to affect the outcome of the process in question, either positively or negatively.

Without leveraging the latest approaches, technology, and critical data to hire, develop, and retain “only” the right people to grow a business, leaders take tremendous risks. In fact, without this knowledge and support, they are actually gambling, which can impact the performance of their organisations in the long run.

Tip 2. Only Remarkable People Can Create Remarkable Things.
Another important tip for leaders is to remember that nothing comes out of nothing. That is, if a company uses mediocre and/or archaic hiring approaches and tools, the result will only be mediocre hires, productivity, and outcomes. The ability to recognise and understand the type of people you hire, develop, and retain to operate and grow your business is mission critical to its future long-term success.

On the one hand, there is no point in placing mediocre people in roles where you expect them to significantly transform and grow your business. At the other extreme, placing a remarkable individual into a position where you only want consistent, acceptable, and stable growth is not an optimal use of talent either. Ultimately…



Ali Kursun

Ali is a thought leader in transformation, change, and workforce strategy. He is the founder of sparkChief & Co. and the author of six books.