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October 08, 1999
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king beyond their "comfort level"

Maybe it is just the fact that labor shortages are so tight that companies are digging a little deeper for management candidates. But more likely it's a creeping realization that risk takers are rare - and they are likely to have learned a lot in the crucible of failure.

The "New York Times" reports that more and more companies are seeking to hire people who have failed at their last job, or more euphemistically, "gone beyond their comfort zone". Part of the attraction definitely seems to be what the candidates have learned, and failed start-ups are a favorite badge of honor. Iv Grousebeck, a Stanford professor of entrepreneurship says: "It is not enough that these people had guts enough to take risks,... they learned under the whip of urgency".

Not all failed managers are equally attractive, however. Moral lapses are generally unforgivable.

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