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Peter J. Lawrence, whose 1969 bestseller “The Peter Principle” satirically provided many insights on the hows and the whys of incompetents working among us, is now being taken more seriously.
People are promoted to a job they are incapable of doing, based on their previous performance. This makes most employees rise to their level of incompetence.
The skills that made a great performer excel, the aggression and the drive, did not translate well when the same performer was in charge of a team, where other skills like people management come into play.
The best teacher of the school cannot be simply promoted as a school principal.
A manager wouldn’t be able to handle a team of specialists (like Doctors or Scientists) efficiently, without any direct experience. This makes excelling at the current role a huge requirement for anyone being hired as a manager.
A fine balance between the two aspects is required while hiring, with one option being to change the hierarchy of the company itself. The person can be promoted without a typical career ladder, and continue to do his current role, which he is doing well.
Apart from a regular performance review, some companies have started a different form of appraisal called the management potential review, which essentially gauges the leadership specific skills of an employee who may or may not score well in the performance review.
Better management training for upcoming leaders also plays a great role in grooming management talent.
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