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The cost of a bad promotion

19 Iun 2013

Have you ever heard the story of a successful sales person, with great financial results who got promoted as a sales manager and failed?

One year ago, a FMCG company hired us to help them promote a sales manager from a pool of internal candidates. All were highly ambitious people, with lot of motivation to achieve, results oriented, energetic and extrovert. They all proved to have high performance in sales: were good at acquiring new customers, broadening the sales portfolio, up selling and securing good deals. All of them hit the targets.

The question now for the company was: who should rule? Who is the best sales manager? Who should be able to grow the new junior sales people in the team, motivate them, develop them, monitor their performance, follow -up on their activities.

We have recommended one of the candidates who were, besides ambitious, extrovert, self – confident, disciplined, organized, reliable, and able to stand behind his team and let team members shine. It was the sales person who played humble, who listened more than talk, who was organized, systematic in his approach.

The hiring manager wanted however to promote another candidate who was more charismatic, very self-confident, bold and high profile.

At the end of one year, the new manager alienated the team. Half of the team left and results went down. Everybody was puzzled why this happened…

"Seventy-five percent of working adults say the worst aspect of their job — the most stressful aspect of their job — is their immediate boss," Robert Hogan says. "Bad managers create enormous health costs and are a major source of misery for many people.

Hogan says a "major cause of stress in modern life is bad management", because stress negatively affects the immune system and health.

Can leadership failure be prevented?

The best way to prevent leadership failure is to promote people into leadership positions who have some talent for leadership in the first place. The best way to evaluate leadership potential is to ask people who have worked for the person in question. The most cost-effective, quickest, and most objective way to evaluate leadership potential is with well validated psychological assessments.

Well-validated assessments can be used to identify leadership potential and to give the potential leaders feedback regarding their strengths and developmental needs.

Some leaders manage self-doubt by charming and manipulating others.

Managers that display this style show elevated scores along four scales: Bold – expect to be admired, refuse to acknowledge failure; Mischievous – expect others to find them charming, display reckless self-confidence; Colorful – expect to be the focus of attention, impulsive; and Imaginative – indifferent to the consequences of their egocentric focus on their own agenda.

These profiles usually possess magnetic personalities and are incredibly successful at marketing themselves and their firms. These leaders often have a drive for personal success, but tend to step on fingers on the way up the ladder.

Sales person profile

Managerial profile

Madalina Balan
Managing Partner
HART Consulting

  • The cost of a bad promotion - HART ConsultingThe cost of a bad promotion - HART Consulting
(Magdalena Vrajitoru, RBS Romania)
We have been developed and run with HART Consulting several assessment and development centers during 2007 and 2008. These projects goals were: Assessment of the managerial competencies for retail and corporate banking employees Selection for career progression (promotion) HART Consulting used different customized exercises, adapted to each profile of competencies. HART has conducted
(Mircea Vlastean, Henkel Romania)
The course opens up the perspective of better understanding yourself in the sense that challenges you to do something new or in a different way, you learn know how to listen in order to understand the other. It helps you to structure the stages of coaching and provoke the one in front of you to leave with a result, and also the steps you must follow in order to achieve the desired objective
(Roxana Tronaru, BRD - Groupe Societe Generale)
We worked with the HART Consulting team in order to develop role-playing exercises – part of the AC for the BRD GSG. From the beginning, the consultants were very receptive to our needs, we built along the project structure and we communicated effictively throughout it. In the follow-up sessions, experts from Hart have shown the ability to easily identify items that need improvement or
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