Sarah, Peter Principle, Benson discussed on Revisionist History
The patron saint of hiring nihilism without question was the author and educator Lawrence Peter. . All of us in the hiring community worship at his feet. . When I was a boy I, , used to leave my parents and believe my teachers can have respect for your elders and betters. . The men upstairs knew what they were doing. . That's Peter. . He was a Canadian as a my of course and I don't know if you remember from the lottery episode but Adam Cronk right went to university in Canada. . The nihilists strain runs deep in the land of the frozen prairie. . Anyway Lawrence, , Peter was a great first famous for saying things like the noblest of dogs is the hot dog. . It feeds the hand that bite did. . He was also deeply involved something called the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Humboldt County California, , which is really hard to explain except to say that it's kind of like the triathlon of the art world involving sculptures on wheels that are required to perform certain feats. . Peter Famously proposed a special prize called the Golden Dinosaur Award to be given to the first machine to break down immediately after the start. . which if you knew Lawrence Peter, , you would recognize as being very lawrence. . Peter. . Because his great professional obsession was with incompetence. . He had a CONNOISSEUR'S I for it. . And as looked around me. . I. . Saw a sign on the door that said emergency exit authorized personnel. . Only I, , wondered who'd written <hes>. . But then <hes>. . Later I saw another sign and said emergency exit. . Not to be used under any circumstances learns Peter. . Formulated one of the most famous laws in. . Social. . Science. . He called it the Peter Principle. . The Peter Principle states very simply than in any hierarchy and employ tends to rise to the level of incompetence that's where he stays. . People get promoted based on a prediction about their ability to handle the next job on the hierarchy. . And they keep rising until the prediction is wrong. . You see in any organization. . Where competence is essentially eligibility for promotion and incompetence is a bar to promotion. . Wherever, , those rules apply people were rise to the level of incompetence and tend to stay there. . Lawrence Peter. Wrote . a book called Peter Principle in nine, , hundred, , sixty nine and it is delightful exactly in a Lawrence Peter sort of way like he has a whole riff on the special case of someone who is incompetent per promoted anyway kicked upstairs a move he calls progressive sublimating. . Or the case when an incompetent person is moved out of the way but given a long job title as compensation. . Peter Call that a lateral arabesque. . No chances are you've heard of the Peter Principle I'm guessing as a kind of joke ha ha that's why my boss is so bad. . But it's not a joke. . Allow me to direct you to the work of a fellow member of the Hiring Nyas Club on Benson economist at the University of Minnesota. . While he was doing his doctorate mit he got bitten by the Peter Principle bug. . I started to go to sales management conferences. . And they found that there is this adage that the best salesperson doesn't necessarily make the best manager. . <hes> but then people would laugh and say, but , we do it anyway. . And I wanted to find out why the great advantage of using salespeople debilitate. . The Peter Principle Benson realizes is that you can measure performance really easily is not like assessing the performance of engineers or politicians. . No, , it's super straightforward. . You just look at how many sales salesperson is made and it's also easy to measure good sales manager is you just add up the sales of the salespeople, the , manager managing. . So Allen Benson finds a tech company that sells one of those software platforms for sales organizations, , kind of like salesforce dot com and gets access to all of their customers data four, , hundred firms hundred thousand salespeople. . The first thing he finds is a confirmation of the famous eighty twenty rule that twenty percent of the sales people are responsible for eighty percent of the sales across the board. . It's not that we don't know who's a good salesperson we definitely know. . People are really good. . Second thing he finds those superstars get rewarded. . What we found in the data look that type salespeople are far far more likely to be promoted into sales management than people who are outside of that top twenty percent who aren't the best person on on the team. . Of course, , the makes sense you give the stars promotion. . That's what everyone does. . Okay. . Now it gets interesting one happens when those stars take over as manager. . Fair sales, , people, , themselves people who they managed. . Their performances becomes worse under them than it was under their prior managers. . The Stars get promoted in their terrible managers. . How terrible really terrible. . Benson looked at an alternate promotion scenario where companies decide to promote not stars but the sales people who are good at collaborating. . Nice friendly people who work well with others and teams managed by the friendly people do thirty percent better than the teams managed by the superstars. . Thirty percent is huge. . You. . Might say what does this have to do with nihilism? ? This is just an argument promoting friendly people over superstars does not I rolling or even shrugging? ? Well I haven't told you about Bentsen's last finding. . Because Benson found a fatal flaw in the ultimate promoting scenario. . The one that seems to work thirty percent better, , which is this. . If you promote the friendly sales people over the top salespeople then the top sales people get upset. . So upset that their performance suffers and they aren't so top anymore. . The, whole , thing is so magnificently perverse, , isn't it? ? All your sales come from the same small group of people who expect to be promoted as a reward for their excellence. . But if you promote them out of sales, , which you get returned is a lousy manager and if you don't promote them. . And you pass them over in favor of some warm and fuzzy into personal wuss. . The top performers will pout and stop trying. . So what are you supposed to do? ? You could pay the superstars more and more and give them fancier titles in the maneuver Lawrence Peter called the Lateral Arabesque But you still insulted them by passing them over for the friendly was. . Another idea that some Peter principle theorists have floated his lotteries they end up where Adam cronkite ended up put everyone's name and a hat and promote the winter I mean, , why not? ? But then why have a boss at all? ? No concept of boss is it a boss knows more than the people that bossing? ? There's even a school of thought in the Upper Reaches Peter Principle world at the best solution is just to man up forget everything else and deliberately promote the incompetent because this way you won't lose one of your superstars by them into a lousy manager. . You'll just transfer an incompetent person from their present position of incompetence to another position of incompetence up stairs somewhere where they will occupy a position which according to Peter Principle was bound to be occupied by an incompetent person sooner or later anyway. . Did you follow that? ? Peter principle theorizing gets very Meta ferry quickly. . which. . Is Why most people would rather console themselves with a soothing banalities of Merit and prediction and hierarchy? ? Only. . A select few. . Are Willing to face the truth. . And who are those brave and lonely heretics? ? The nihilists. . People like me. . Who Look at the world with a cold and unflinching eye and say Under the circumstances, , why bother to learn the first thing about any new perspective job candidate? ? and. .