New CEO: “I thought it would be easier.”
by Bob Schwartz
Imagine that you hired a new CEO for your very, very big company (annual budget: $3.8 trillion). The job he takes is universally considered the most difficult job in the world.
Imagine that not all the shareholders approved him. In fact, the shareholders were very, very divided on his being hired.
Imagine that in his early days, he demonstrated some serious gaps in his knowledge and ability to do the job.
Then imagine the new CEO is interviewed and says this:
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
- Keep him and expect him to get better at his job.
- Excuse him because he is new on the job.
- Fire him.
In the UK we would go for option 5 – promote him!
HA! Thanks for the comment. I don’t know that that is a UK specialty; it is widespread, maybe universal. Laurence J. Peter wrote in his famous and (somewhat) exaggerated book The Peter Principle (1969): “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” He also wrote: “As individuals we tend to climb to our levels of incompetence. We behave as though up is better and more is better, and yet all around us we see the tragic victims of this mindless escalation.” and “In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties.”