It is often said that people are promoted to the level of their own incompetence, there is clearly truth in this in so much that if you were not out of ones depth one would be promoted. We get promoted until we cannot do the job we are assigned. Is it also true that we get promoted until our instincts fail us? I have spent my career doing what feels right, I suppose I think to a certain extend but I mostly just reac. It is usually self evidence to me the correct course of action, how to steer the correct course. As I progress the decisions I am asked to make I have seen others make countless times before, its easy to know the right way as I have seen all the wrong ways. But can I choose a new way?
I am thinking now how easy it is to adjust my view and stop thinking what is best and what will be _seen_ as being best. Does this make sense? Consider bridge, it is easier to downplay a hand than to up-play it. It is easy to take a middle road than to excel. This is true in a a world where everyone is down playing their hand, those few that try to shoot for the moon succeed or fail without trace.
Is our working environment not just setup to promote to the level of our incompetence but to promote as long as our nerve holds?
2 thoughts on “Promotion”
Reflective day at the office, dear? *&)
I have the same doubts about doing things right the first time. I think after a few years in middle management you are so used to going into situations that are fundamentally broken and fixing them that you gain real confidence in your ability to turn things around. But as you start to approach senior management and start to get the opportunity to initiate things and try to do them right from the outset it is a whole different challenge. I’ve worried that in that situation I just won’t know where to start!! It is easy to see the threads of failure in something and unpick them, but a new piece of cloth and a fresh needle? Scary.
I suspect most of this is normal fear of the unknown though, and that actually once in the situation the same toolsets come into play to try to preempt the issues that you’re used to fixing. At least I hope so *&)
The biggest problem is when something has failed knowing how to fix it is easy fairly easy. When starting something new doing the right thing is a scary leap into the unknown. You just dont know what the right thing is, usually even doing the easy thing requires a huge degree of self confidence to overcome the critics.