Interesting thread. When I started at SGI, we were in orientation where we were told “you are the best and brightest”. Which follows As hire As. But not everyone is an A at some point.
SGI was where I was introduced to HPs rating and ranking system. HR had their list of titles which meant you might have two people with the same title doing different jobs and were ranked and rated as if they were the same. I have never been in such a politically charged meeting as a ranking and rating session. It’s why good people get left by the wayside or leave-it is the reason penguins harp “wasn’t strong enough to survive” in order to justify their decisions.
In a couple of startups I’ve been at since then, G&Os were important and reset from time to time. At review time, your performance was measured against you. Much better in my mind.
Regarding whether I’d fight to keep someone. Idk. By the time someone resigns, it’s too late. It’s better that you keep your ears and eyes open and respond before it gets to the point of begging and pleading. At the least, see what you learn about the whys. Fix what you can and move on.
The biggest thing I’ve taken away is that a team that enjoys success may not necessarily succeed again. There are intangible things like timing, outside influences, and other things that contribute to great teams and those aren’t always easy to put a finger on.
Back to As. You need a balance of all three. And it’s best when people recognize and embrace their roles as opposed to figuring out how to sabotage others.