How to stop an incompetent leader before they start doing the damage

We’ve all known them, and worked for them at some time in our lives. The manager or team leader who just isn’t up to the job. There are two types. Type A is the one who used to be a good worker- engineer, salesman, scientist or driver- who just can’t make the transition to the new skills set which a manager requires. Type B may be more familiar- the blustering narcissist, adept at working the higher ups, but whose relations with underlings and peers are already below floor level. Either way, the results for your company or organisation are disastrous. Toxic culture. Poor morale. Dreadful sales and productivity. Above all, that most precious business commodity of all is destroyed-trust.

It can take epic quantities of time and money to get rid of such an individual, by which time the damage to your balance sheet and reputation my be terminal. Better by far to spot them and weed them out before they are appointed. But how?

One man with some answers is Tomas Chamorro-Premusic, Professor of Psychology at such august institutions as University College and Columbia, among other things. We’ve attached a couple of links from Tom: but he writes clearly and well, and you should enjoy his pieces. Suffice this extract:

Overconfidence is the natural result of privilege. If the future of leadership were more meritocratic, and managers selected leaders on the basis of their talent and potential rather than Machiavellian self-promotion, reckless risk taking, or narcissistic delusions, we would not just end up with more women leaders, but also with better leaders. Many competent men are also overlooked for leadership roles because they don’t match our flawed leadership archetypes — meaning, they are perceived as “not masculine enough,” or fail to display the very attributes that make leaders less effective.

We at LSS still believe in meritocracy, for our sins. But you have to be very, very careful about the merit bit. Over to you, Tom.

#overpromotion #incompetence #management #hr #narcissism #peterprinciple

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