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On Their Own

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

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

Steve Seiden thinks he knows. Seiden is CEO and director ofmarketing at Acquired Data Solutions Inc., an 11-employeeengineering contracting firm in Alexandria, Virginia. He recallshiring 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 couldhandle it.

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