It is a generally accepted goal that managers should hire best and the brightest. However the evidence from experience hiring the best and brightest person does not always lead to best performance: Things don’t always work out as planned. Why do you suppose this happens?
Though generally not acknowledged but nevertheless true is the principle that better managers make people better. Hiring better people for bad managers will not cause better performance. Hiring good people with good management will make both better. The difference maker is the quality of management. Deming repeatedly told us this, yet no cared to try to understand.
Rarely do those in management place focused attention on their very own managerial effectiveness in regards to helping those they manage become better. The responsibility of management is not development but growth and material gain. Hence managers are educated and trained to attend to the material surface level dimensions of an enterprise—for them it is all about measurable economic transactions. The ability to count and manipulate things (and people are things) is far more important than the ability to actually care about people—it is all about being effective in economic transactions.
Consequently, the better person—one with a healthy sense of self—rarely becomes a manager. This is evidenced by the fact that most people leave their employer because of having a horrible boss. The fact that those in management are clueless about the role of a manager of people should be apparent. If they had a clue there wouldn’t be so much exporting of jobs and so many asserting that there aren’t capable people to fill the employment needs of the business enterprise.
Why do you suppose there is little attention on developing people? I suspect in large part it is because subordinates—another telling word reflective of how (other) people are viewed—are related to as behavioral units as objects not subjects, rather than as actual persons.
Management Determines What’s Probable
The potential for greatness resides within people not behavioral units. Yet those in management—either because of on-the-job training or formal education—are so ill prepared to be leaders of people. A leader is to show the way, but all that we get from management is fear-based ways of managing—it is a way taking us away from human development. All we get is negative levels of energy (fear, desire, pride) being used to force others—holding them accountable—to behave as desired, all for results, all for selfish material gain.
Better managers make better people and better people make great managers—referred to as authentic leaders! Just imagine if the focus of your manager was on enacting what Maslow referred to as B-values (that is, being-values such as trust, truth, justice, etc)—positive levels of energy—and correspondingly the development of others as well as him/her self. Who could denounce the positive influence of enacting these values? The power of these values is self-evident!
In regard to development I am not talking about material self-interest and growth but the development of the person, the self. We are all born with the potential to fully realize and share our humanness we just need the help of each other.
Becoming a better person, a more developed being as a person, will without question make one a better manager—as well as a better husband/wife, father/mother, sister/brother and fellow human being. In short it would make a better world. This too is self-evident! Yet the vast majority is simply either unaware or uninterested.
What’s Stopping Us?
So why aren’t people seeking to develop their personhood and helping others do the same? I suspect we’ve swallowed hook-line-and-sinker the fallacy inherent in our economic system that we are each independent individual things (I underscore things) who are destined to seek to maximize his/her material self-interest as the means and measure of his/her life. We thus act as if the world is flat and we are all like billiard balls moving about bumping into each other—acting against each other—for our own (selfish) gain. In short we’ve bought into a tale sold by highly manipulative individuals who themselves were and are seeking it all for themselves. Yes we’ve been captured while all along falsely believing we are free.
Would truly free life affirming human beings create a dog-eat-dog world such as we have? Absolutely not! Perhaps a more revealing way to phrase the question is, what kind of people would create a world such as we have? I suspect, people who were superficial, manipulative, insincere, narcissistic and lacked the capacity for compassion and empathy.