Not at the Table
A line from a Joan Didion novel comes to mind: You can't play the game if you're not at the table.
- If you want to play, you'd better figure out a way to get to the table. You may be the best player in town but if you are winning hands in your garage you are not going to be in on the big money.
- If you are in charge of who's at the table and you want the best players present, you need to consider what may keep some of them from showing up.
Some people assume that the process has a certain Darwinian justice to it so the best players will almost always figure out how to get a seat. That conclusion, however, is countered by the number of extraordinary novels that were once rejected by an array of book publishers.
So what is the overall lesson? The world will not beat a path to the door of the most talented. Those folks must make their own path. At the same time, organizations need to be alert to how they may inadvertently block consideration of extraordinary performers who have not been able to get near the table.