Quotes and thoughts from Peter Drucker I like.
It is only in the last twenty or thirty years that being incomprehensible has become a virtue in academia.
Executives spend more time on managing people and making people decisions than on anything else, and they should. No other decisions are so long lasting in their consequences or so difficult to unmake. And yet, by and large, executives make poor promotion and staffing decisions. At most one-third of such decisions turn out right, one-third are minimally effective, and one-third are outright failures. In no other area of management would we put up with such miserable performance.
Some good examples of picking people rightly are- George C.Marshall, the army’s chief of staff personally chose each man during WWII. Alfred P.Sloan Jr. picked every GM executive.
Basic principles of picking people include-
1- If I put a person into a job and he or she does not perform, I have made a mistake. I have no business blaming that person, no business invoking the ‘Peter Principle’, no business complaining. I have made a mistake.
2- The one DONT. Don’t give new people new major assignments, for doing so only compounds the risks. Give this sort of assignment to someone whose behaviour and habits you know and who has earned trust and credibility within your organization. Put a high-level newcomer first into an established position, where the expectations are known and help is available. Duke of Marlborough observed three centuries ago- The basic trouble in coalition warfare is that one has to entrust victory, if not one’s life, to a fellow commander whom one knows by reputation rather than by performance.
Job descriptions may last a long time. But assignments change all the time, and unpredictably.
A person may be excellently qualified for the technical aspects of a job, but if the assignment requires above all the ability to build a team and this ability is lacking, then the fit is not right.
(From- The frontiers of management by PD)