From the Ask Tom mailbag –
How do you deal (humanely) with someone who clearly is holding an S-IV role, but only appears to have S-III capability?
First, understand that this person is doing their best, and the mistake was made by the manager (I assume that is you) who promoted this person into that role without proper due diligence.
Now, what to do?
Pull out the role description and carefully examine those Key Result Areas that describe decision making and problem solving at S-IV (multi-system analysis and system integration). Using the role description, you can either manicure the role to reassign those accountabilities to someone else or choose to transfer the person to another role which better matches their capability.
The most important part of this managerial move is to understand, the discussion centers around the tasks, activities, decisions and problem solving. The discussion does NOT center around the stratum level capability of the person. This is an important nuance.
As the manager you have the following authority –
- Determine the level of work in the role.
- Determine the effectiveness of the person in the role.
As the manager, you do NOT have the authority –
- To guess the stratum level of capability of the person.
- To guess the potential capability of the person.
As the manager, you may have an intuitive judgment about a person’s capability or potential capability. You may take action related to that judgment ONLY by testing the candidate against effectiveness in the role (or testing the candidate with project work similar to the level of work in the role). It’s all about the work, not about a number.