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The Tom Brady Principle: Don’t Promote Your Best People

Creating paths for coaches

If we want more diversity, we need to change our assumptions that being ranked higher in a company should be the overall target. Being promoted is not always the best way to unlock potential and innovation.

We need more companies that want to let their best performers stay on the field and create paths for the leaders to inspire those stars.

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The Tom Brady Principle: Don’t Promote Your Best People

The Tom Brady Principle: Don’t Promote Your Best People

https://medium.com/betterworkingworld/the-tom-brady-principle-dont-promote-your-best-people-e924fa308550

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Talent management

After Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl in 2001, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft promoted Tom to General Manager because they wanted to see him grow with the organization. In the corporate world, it is known as talent management.

Research from Ernest O’Boyle and Herman Aguinis shows that high performers have much higher levels of impact than average performers.

Climbing the ladder

A 2016 McKinsey report laid out that only 40% of women and 56% of men desired to become a top executive in a company. It could be because the climb is exhausting since the range of expertise and skills has expanded. It means that today's leaders need to meet an almost impossible set of requirements.

We are requiring today’s leaders to be the best player on the team, the coach, general manager, and CEO. Instead of attracting people who want to lead, we attract the narcissists that are motivated by money, power, and status.

Creating paths for coaches

If we want more diversity, we need to change our assumptions that being ranked higher in a company should be the overall target. Being promoted is not always the best way to unlock potential and innovation.

We need more companies that want to let their best performers stay on the field and create paths for the leaders to inspire those stars.

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The wrong questions

The wrong questions

Some questions are too easy to fake, for example, "What's your greatest weakness?" Other questions like brainteasers reveal more about the manager than the candidate.

Behaviora...

The wrong criteria

Some managers favor candidates who went to the same school. There's also evidence that African-American sounding names, birthmarks, being pregnant, and being overweight puts candidates at a disadvantage.

To overcome this bias, identify the key skills and values in advance, then create a standard set of behavioral and situational questions to ask every candidate. Doing this can triple the manager's accuracy in predicting job performance.

Favoring the best talkers

College seniors often stretch the truth in interviews to make a better impression. Be aware that when you meet someone for the first time, you meet their representative.

An antidote could include to let them showcase their skills by collecting a work sample. It might be a project they've done in the past or a live simulation of the job in real-time.

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Comparison vs. First Principles Thinking

Comparison Thinking (reason through analogy)

When you make decisions and judgement calls based on what you or others have experienced. An easy mode of thinking but also

Advantages of First Principles Thinking

  • Allows for a more personal, customized mode of thinking and application.
  • A key to doing any sort of systemic inquiry.
  • Even though it does take far more mental energy to work in this mode, the results can be quite staggering.
  • A new and innovative way of thinking.

Applying the First Principles Thinking

Identify the Problem

What is something that I want to change in my life?

Deconstruct the Problem

What are the causes of my problems? How does it affect my life?

Solve the Problem

Start creating your new framework. You could think of multiple ways to achieve your goals easily.

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Make space to create meaning

Provide digital self-assessment tools and the types of personal exploration exercises that facilitate reflection.  

These mechanisms can help employees identify personal sources...

Provide the right amount of structure

Formal employee programs and activities, such as rotational opportunities, innovation labs, reverse mentoring and milestone experiences, can help employees build deeper, more diverse relationships while promoting growth.

Build strong teams

Deepening relationships is a key source of fulfillment.

Shared experiences help employees come together in ways that build meaningful connections and trust. Activities that provide a common purpose — such as an escape room game or a hackathon — are especially effective.

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