How to Advance and Keep the Right People

Just asking the right questions and thinking the right set of qualifications is not going to get you anywhere if they are just words for you. The rub as to advancing (and holding) right people is that you are talking platitudes and only platitudes, unless you are willing to devote whatever time and travel are necessary to know which men measure up and which do not. Talking in your office about qualifications does not accomplish very much by itself. You must be willing to prove the degree of your interest, see what should be seen, and learn what needs to be learned at considerable sacrifice of comfort and leisure. If you’re not willing to do these things, it would be better not to mention at all your interest in advancing the right people.

And you have got to be willing to let your people show that they can do, too. If you are high enough in management so that your subordinates are themselves executives, you must be sure you give them chances to carry the ball and in effect be “the company” or “the department” on the projects they work on. Pace the way for them, back them up when they ask for cooperation and have trouble getting it, let them have the help of a research man, sales analyst, or production specialist, if that is important at all.

In your everyday observation of supervisors, the important benchmarks are leadership, courage, judgment of people, imagination, depth of interest, ability to get a job done, specialized knowledge and capabilities, general knowledge, integrity, general spirit and enthusiasm, and ability to decide.

The more you talk and travel and observe men at work, the more you may be impressed with a point that has greatly influenced many. The products your company makes, and its services, may change. Your markets may change. Management may change. Fads in management thinking, like “scientific management” and “statistical decision greatly”; some jobs may disappear completely.

But this is not true of everything in the promotion picture in deed; it is not true of one of the most important things. For as someone once said: “ Some things stay in style-kindness, acceptance of self and others, compassion ship, tolerance, sense of humor, the world at large-all by-products of the Christian community.” We all realize this. Why do we so often miss the boat?

Author: KPO

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