One of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced as a leader is putting months into recruiting an amazing VP or engineer, only to have them change their mind at the 11th hour because of a ridiculous counteroffer. This is the big risk you face when aiming for the best people on the planet (see: “Hiring Rockstars”) as they are the “beating heart” of their existing employer, and the incumbent company will often go beyond great lengths to keep them. They may be prized recruits for you, but they are absolutely the most critical people at their current employer. For instance, Google has been rumored to be especially aggressive at countering with restricted stock grants in the millions of dollars for their top people. But they aren’t alone. Any employer will do whatever he or she can to keep key talent.