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MOVING UP TOO FAST

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 8, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– What happens when you do not pay your dues.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As we enter the workforce, it is natural to be ambitious and make a name for ourselves thereby establishing credibility. This is certainly not new. However, as the Baby Boomers begin to retire, they are rapidly being replaced by Millennials, and frankly, many are not prepared.

Regardless of what they teach in the business schools, there are several nuances to assuming the role of manager. You have to have the proper social and communications skills to work with people, you should be cognizant of the corporate culture and how to manipulate it to your benefit, understanding the systems and technology of the business, and much more. This can only be learned through experience, and hopefully a mentor. Unfortunately, few companies appreciate the mentor concept and throw junior people into the breech prematurely to see who will survive. Without proper supervision, most of the junior people are doomed to failure.

A local distributor of manufacturing products recently changed their management hierarchy, demoting mature sales and administrative managers, and replacing them with people who were young enough to be their children (about 27 years old). There was a lot of unbridled enthusiasm about them, but little in terms of common sense for running a business. To illustrate, their massive warehouse had only one operable light bulb. The young administrative manager believed the landlord was responsible for replacing them, yet it was theirs to maintain. Office equipment was sorely in need of maintenance, particularly the photocopier which regularly printed fuzzy dark images on paper. Neither of the managers knew how to process a customer order electronically. Consequently, the company began to experience delays in processing. Having never performed a year-end inventory, they fudged the numbers as opposed to getting it right. And the year-end company Christmas party was a bust.

None of this was complicated, yet they lacked the experience and common sense to run the office smoothly. Not surprising, employee morale is at an all time low, and for some strange reason, their corporate managers accept their performance.

More troubling, although the juniors may possess infectious enthusiasm, their inexperience could lead the company into a lawsuit due to some unintended faux pas.

The point is, these two junior people were promoted much too fast. Instead of weaning them with a viable career path, corporate officers threw them into their new positions unexpectedly. Being impetuous, they were not interested in seeking the advice of their predecessors who were still employed by the company. The elders simply shook their head in disbelief as they watched the juniors commit one mistake after another.

This is just one instance, but I am seeing similar situations occur in other companies where junior people are asked to sink or swim in higher positions. The logic for this is bewildering to me as the productivity of such companies diminish using this approach. It is also unfair to the junior people who are put into this position and lack the maturity and experience to perform their jobs effectively.

One can only wonder, what in God’s name are they thinking at corporate?

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHY DO WE TOLERATE THUGS IN SPORTS? – Is victory more important than morality?

LAST TIME:  FATHERS EAT HEELS  – and perform all the thankless jobs around the house.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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2 Responses to “MOVING UP TOO FAST”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A W.H. in Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “In the United States Navy (and the other services had different, but similar rules), if you were enlisted, there were certain minimum “time in grade” and “time in service” criteria before you could (a) take an advancement examination, and (b) actually be promoted to the next rank. In the officer corps, there were minimum times in grade before you could go before a selection board for the next rank; and your promotion was based on your “fitness reports” by your commanding officers ranking you in all sorts of categories. Today, not much has changed with the officer system of promotion although in my former professional category they now have certification in the warfare specialty which takes time – but that is only required before you hit the O3 (Lieutenant) slots. Enlisted changed a bit – now there’s not really a minimum TIG/TIS criteria. They have what they call “seven vectors” most of which are professional development criteria that you must meet before you are allowed to progress. The upshot of this new system is that technically you can advance to higher ranks VERY FAST, IF (and I stress IF) you can meet all those criteria. Time is just not one of them. Practically speaking, meeting those other criteria means it will take the average person just about as long as it used to take. But, the difference here is that they are TRYING to recognize that not everyone moves at the same pace or needs the same time to be “ready” for the next rank. Not sure how it’s working because I’ve been retired from the service for over 25 years now.”

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  2. […] MOVING UP TOO FAST […]

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