“We started this conversation trying to figure out the size of the role and the size of the person,” I clarified. “I think we have established that we can measure size of role with timespan. So how do we measure the size of person?”
“It’s a trick question,” Pablo immediately responded. “I don’t judge people, I only judge the work.”
“But, if we are trying to match the size of the role with the size of the person?”
My question was cut short. “We are misled when we try to judge the size of a person. People are too complicated, and besides, at the end of the day, does it matter? The only thing that matters, is the person effective in the work of the role? Think about it. We come up with all kinds of descriptors like foresight, agility, conscientiousness, tenacity, initiative, motivation, flexibility. We give these things a score. As if we can measure the absolute score of a human being? We say a person needs more of this and less of that. What does that have to do with work?”
“Let me change my question,” I recalibrated. “Instead of measuring the size of the person, how do we match the person with the complexity, with the level of work in the role?”
“Now, you have a case. In this discussion, the central question is, compared to what?” Pablo asserted.
“Okay, compared to what?” I parroted.
“You cannot measure the qualities of a person with some absolute number, because people change inside the context of the moment. Compared to what? Compared to the work in the role? I only care, can they do the work?” Pablo stopped, then picked up again. “The best measure of performance is performance.”