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Posted by on in Competencies and Strengths
Most small to mid-size businesses are too busy growing to spend time growing their people. This can be a serious mistake. If you simply let people learn on the fly and promote them when needed, then you are setting them up to fail. This is so prevalent that a book called the Peter Principle was written about this phenomenon. In 1969, Lawrence Peter wrote a humorous book titled The Peter Principle in which he postulated that, in a hierarchy people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. He noted that although this is not planned it is the unintended consequence. Companies make a flawed assumption that because the employee was a great individual performer in the previous job that he or she will adapt and become a leader of the team. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where they...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Westchester employers need to get and maintain peak performance from their employees.  In order to compete employers need the best and most productive employees. But there is a catch. You can’t just hire them. You then need to develop your employees so that they can produce better results. Your employees really want opportunities to grow and develop. If you have looked you know that there is so much out there written about performance reviews. Many of these writings focus on procedure. I am presenting here a much more practical bottom line approach but one that uses solid human relations skills. Most organizations do annual performance appraisals and most human resource professionals are charged with developing a performance appraisal system. This process alone is one of the most universally disliked systems. The reason is that most appraisal systems do not focus enough on two very important areas—Employee Development and Results. We should...

Posted by on in Competencies and Strengths
I am advocating something that may sound counterproductive. I think it is foolish to try to improve your weaknesses or limitations. Even if you attempt to do it you will never be fully satisfied and you will be in a constant state of stress. But isn’t that what many of us try to do?   When your child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English, what is your response? That’s right. Most people will talk to their child about raising the grade in English. But what if your child might have a real talent in math? He or she might become a great math genius. But it might never be realized because time was spent dwelling on weakness rather than leveraging strengths. To put it another way, we have talents...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
In 1969, Lawrence Peter wrote a humorous book titled The Peter Principle in which he postulated that, in a hierarchy people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. He noted that although this is not planned it is the unintended consequence. In most companies employees are rewarded for great performance by being promoted. The very good reasons for promoting from within include, among others, motivation and engagement of the staff. However, companies make a flawed assumption that because the employee did well in the previous job he or she will adapt and perform well in the new job. Inevitably, according to the Peter Principle, the person ends up being promoted to a job where they are no longer competent. This is referred to as their "level of incompetence". The employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career's ceiling in an organization. We can...

Recent Comments Show all comments

  • Larry H. Maxey
    Larry H. Maxey says
    My View Grant, Thanks for the article. I have never agreed with the premise of the Peter Principle. While ...
  • Grant Schneider
    Grant Schneider says
    Good Point Larry - the manager is responsible for the results of subordinates. I think we need to to put more ...
  • Larry H. Maxey
    Larry H. Maxey says
    Tough Sell Grant, We should follow that advice. However, in our "slash and burn" business mentality that seems...

Posted by on in Attitudes and Behaviors
Selecting employees is one of the most important functions of a manager.   Sadly most organizations fail at hiring the right people.  This occurs at organizations with a human resources department as often as it happens with the small business owner.  The good news is that you can begin to hire the right people.  Jim Collins and his team laid out the principle in the book Good to Great.  It is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”  It may be simple but it’s not easy.  You will need to change the way you hire people. Here is a simple fact.  Managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history.  Many companies even do background checks.  They spend a significant amount of time looking at...

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