“The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” – Robert Frost
Ascending to their highest level of incompetence. You know who they are, they are everywhere! These are individuals who keep moving up the ladder and getting praise for their accomplishments. They move ahead of their peers. Everyone around them look in amazement because they are often not the smartest, nor clearly the hardest working yet. . . .
They are not necessarily without talent and skill. In fact, they may be very skillful in finding others who will toil away under their supervision and periodically come up for air. In the meantime, their superior is busy finding ways to dodge the difficult and often complicated tasks that his or her job entails. They delegate or defer the real work to their “pet humans”. Their greatest skill is not in doing their job, rather it is in find people who are skilled at getting “their” job done and helping to make their boss look good in the process.
Credentials! That is what you need to get your very own “pet human”. With the proper degree, you are assumed to know more than those without. But the truth is that the paralegal is often smarter than the attorney she works for. . . she is the staff member who puts herself in the line of fire to protect her boss and shield that attorney from the consequences of the supervisor’s bad decisions.
We also see those who rise up on the shoulders of their subordinates as a result of everyone’s hard work. As they do, others in the organization are pleased to see them advance. These are leaders who do not ask others to do their hard or dirty work. These are leaders who become invisible in the process and the entire organization is given credit for its success. Those are not “pet humans”, they are followers.
“What makes a good follower? The single most important characteristic may well be a willingness to tell the truth. In a world of growing complexity leaders are increasingly dependent on their subordinates for good information, whether the leaders want to hear it or not. Followers who tell the truth and leaders who listen to it are an unbeatable combination.” – Warren G. Bennis
Do you have “Pet Humans” or “Followers”?