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On Their Own

Give your independent thinkers space--but not enough to get lost in.

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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ask employers what kind of person they'd like to hire, and you'll hear some familiar phrases: "A go-getter." "A self-starter." "Someone who can take the ball and run with it." Now you've hired an employee that fits the bill, and things aren't going so smoothly. What's the problem?

Steve Seiden thinks he knows. Seiden is CEO and director of marketing at Acquired Data Solutions Inc., an 11-employee engineering contracting firm in Alexandria, Virginia. He recalls hiring one ambitious, confident and independent-minded employee. "He wanted to figure out [the job] on his own," Seiden, 34, says. So Seiden let him do his own thing, thinking he could handle it.

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