Chapter 3 Pg’s 77-79 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki
How many times have you said, “I really am not happy with this candidate, but I need someone to fill the job, so I am going to roll the dice on this one”? How many times was that a good choice? Probably, if you are truly honest with yourself, the answer will be, “Almost never.”That should be all that is needed to make the point, but it is not.
Every manager has made such a bad decision, and unfortunately, most will make it again. Why? The answer is simple: desperation and maybe even a little panic. No advice from this chapter can make a more immediate impact on your success than this: avoid quick fixes in staffing. You would be better off hiring a temporary employee during the time it takes to find a permanent replacement than hiring the wrong candidate. The negative impact of a bad apple on unit morale and organizational achievement can be so severe that the recovery time will far exceed the delay in hiring the right person. Live with the pain in the short run, and avoid the much greater agony of picking the wrong person who ultimately must be fired. Use care and don’t take a chance on an obvious misfit.
Assigning a new hire to any job in your organization can seem like a gamble, but you do not need to go outside the organization to find a misfit. The same type of mistake can be made when you promote a person from within the organization to the wrong job. The person, in all likelihood, is one of your better employees, or you would not have taken the risk of the move. All too often, these “misplacements” cost the organization in multiple ways. First, a bad placement can create an incumbent who fails to deliver on organizational goals. Second, the old unit or position loses a good employee. Third, if the old job is vacant for an extended period, the result may be a performance drop. In short, your roll of the dice may create more problems than it solves. Indeed, a bad placement can negatively affect organizational achievement. The leader also suffers from the misplacement, because the staff will recognize the error and ultimately the leader’s credibility will be tainted. Of course, the concern is not for your wounded ego but rather for the impact your credibility has on your staff. All associates in an organization want to have confidence in their leader. When you are a new leader, your staff will start out with a relatively unblemished opinion of your ability to lead. Each error you make demonstrates your humanness; however, too many errors will not be viewed as human frailty but rather begin to look more like ineffectiveness. Of course, no leader can function without errors; however, no leader can afford to make too many mistakes, causing the staff to begin to question his or her ability to lead. Your people selection skills get the first and most serious scrutiny, because they speak volumes about how you view people and what you expect of the staff. If you think your staff will not notice, think again.
Like it or not, as a leader you are always on stage. Every action you take will be evaluated as an indication of your ability. The good news is that if you, on balance, make more good decisions than bad, you are likely to be viewed favorably. The bad news is that you will be judged most harshly on actions that reflect how you feel about people.
If your actions in selection and assignment reflect an inability to choose quality people, or people who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver on the organization’s objectives, then you will eventually lose your following.
Unfortunately, the promoted associate is the person most seriously damaged when we make an assignment error. Having taken a good performer and provided the exhilaration of a promotion, we then put her through the agony of feeling inadequate as she comes to recognize the new job is a bad fit. In a rather brief time, we put this quality person on an emotional rollercoaster and turn a winner into a failure. This is nothing short of a human crisis for the associate. Now is when love is needed. First, you must recognize the problem quickly, decide if it is a failed assignment and, if so, reverse the decision quickly.
Second, you need to find a way to help the person recover by providing an opportunity for a positive performance experience. Find that person another job that uses her skills rather than her weaknesses. This may be in your department or it may be in another, but do it quickly. Self-esteem is fragile, and your ability to act quickly will reflect your sincere love for the individual and can help to rekindle confidence and a feeling of self-worth. Failure to act appropriately is most certainly going to cause the individual to not only lose self-esteem but also to look for a way to avoid the embarrassment of facing peers who witnessed the failure. Unless you intervene, the associate is likely to be a casualty to herself and a major loss to the organization. On the other hand, if you have a great !t, then your associate will love the job, and so will you.