Promoted to a level of incompetence

I was chatting with a colleague the other day and he managed to use a saying that I have not heard in awhile. He said “She was promoted to a level of her incompetence” This got me thinking…..

This statement is interesting because incompetence on a job level can mean many things. Despite the obvious of a person not being able to do what is asked or expected of them in their role, it can also mean that the person is incompetent to either lead and/or manage people.

As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I reflect on whether this has happened to me. And after many profound deep brain things, I am convinced that this has happened to me. About 11 or 12 years ago, I was promoted to a regional manager sales position. I had 11 direct reports and 40+ indirect reports. I was young…like 26 or something and I felt that the way to manage people was thru fear and intimidation. I thrived on people not liking or being fearful of me. While I still succeeded in terms of sales volume etc..I managed to burn myself out and inevitably pissed some people off. If any of you ever read this blog (and you know who you are) I apologize.

I am not perfect and don’t think for a minute that you are either.

We all have either worked or are currently working for/with people who are incompetent on some level. However I find it really interesting when I deal with folks like this. Some are aloof and like to name drop. Some have their heads buried in the sand and don’t want to come up for air and some are so out there, that they don’t even acknowledge you thru communications. Perhaps its an ego thing, but it could also be the “Dear in headlights” syndrome.

My point in all of this is that no matter who you are, what level you are at either in your head or the organization, don’t ignore the small stuff, the people and learn from those around you. Sometimes folks can be giving signals subtly and if you are so wrapped up in your own world, you might just miss something.

Lastly, no one likes a person who cant admit when they have made a mistake. Often the most incompetent people are those that try to find a way to place blame rather than accept it.

I welcome your feedback.

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