• Krista Schaber-Chan

Leader Insights: Taking Unicorns Out of Valued Roles and Leveraging their Magical Qualities

Harbinger Leader Insights is a new blog series discussing various decision-making subjects that can result in a failure or success of a transformation or change project. Krista Schaber-Chan, Managing Partner, kicks off the new series with a blog that discusses the value in taking the best and brightest ‘unicorn’ employees from valued roles and onto new projects.

We’ve said this before, but change is hard for everyone including leaders.


Leaders are instrumental in ensuring a change is successful, and the decisions they make in the beginning and throughout the change can be the difference in success or failure. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work on several transformation and change projects and one of the key attributes of a great leader is the ability to identify unicorns and leverage their unique skill sets to take the business to the next level.

Unicorns are all the rage now and I was inspired reading a LinkedIn article ‘5 signs You’re a “Unicorn” Employee’ by Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite.


For those of you who don’t know, “unicorn” employees are rare and they are individuals known for getting stuff done, being able to look at the big picture, as well as, the smaller details. Most importantly possess stellar personalities that can work with just about anybody.


The most natural thing for organizations to do with their unicorn employees is keep them at the status quo where they feel most comfortable. Usually this means that they are performing the same tasks and doing the same role they are in today because well, they’re really good at it. While this works, it’s not sustainable. In fact, this approa