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It's a Big Mistake to Promote People Too Quickly

Apr 24, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments

Promoting people too quickly

Excerpted from The Great Game of Business.

The common wisdom is that people should prove themselves before they get promoted. I always promoted people as fast as I could. Sometimes I promoted them right out of my department. I liked giving people opportunities, and I didn't want them to get bored and stale, but I had an ulterior motive as well: it made my job a lot easier to have friends all over the company.

Tunnel vision is a big problem in business. When people spend all their time in one function, they see every issue from a single perspective. They can't appreciate other departments' needs. Walls go up. Communication is terrible. That makes it harder to accomplish anything. I got around this obstacle by getting my people jobs in other departments. In effect, I instituted a program of cross-training for the people I worked with. They learned to see different aspects of the business, and I built up my own communications network. As a result, my department could function better. We had our own support system consisting of erstwhile colleagues who understood our point of view and could give us help when we needed it.

Because I was promoting people so fast, I wound up having a lot of positions to fill. What I didn't have was time to do in-depth interviews and evaluations. So I came up with my own method of hiring: I looked for people who had been captains of their intramural teams in college. To be a captain of your intramural team, you had to be picked by your peers. So I knew they were winners, and we needed people who could be winners right off the bat, because we were operating in a real losing situation.


Did you miss the first three Myths of Management from The Great Game of Business? catch up here:

Myth # 1 - Don't Tell People the Truth—They'll Screw You

Myth #2 - Nice Guys Finish Last

Myth #3 - A Manager's Job is to Come Up with the Answers

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Topics: Leadership, Open-Book Management

Jack Stack
Written by Jack Stack

Jack Stack is President and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation, which remanufactures gasoline and diesel engines for the automotive and off-highway markets, distributes engine kits, manufactures power units and remanufactures electrical components, and conducts seminars and training programs specializing in all aspects of teaching people how to implement open-book management. He is also the author of three books, The Great Game of Business, A Stake in the Outcome, and Change The Game: Saving The American Dream By Closing The Gap Between The Haves And The Have-Nots.

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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.