People’s math on hiring is all wrong.
A weak hire who gets nothing done should be fired. Let’s discount them.
A strong individual contributor who never goes into management or becomes a leader can be kept. Let’s call this person a 1X.
A strong individual contributor who takes initiative and perseveres through difficult challenges and ends up being a leader or manager who can leverage their ability through a team is your best case scenario. Let’s call this person 10x.
All leadership research says that your story is a better predictor of strong leadership. You’re a potential 10x hire because your history has grit.
The Stanford/Google-intern candidate is only going to beat you out if the promotion process is as biased as the hiring process (which, duh, it probably is).