Raad Al-Saady

We use a clear set of performance criteria and objectives to measure leaders’ performance and potential. We measure the engagement levels of their teams, their 360-degree feedback scores, and many other things and then categorize leaders on a potential/performance axis.

With high performance/low potential people, you make sure they’re in roles that get the most out of them while continuing to recognize their contribution. The high potential/low performance managers are your future gems, and you need to know why they are not delivering today. See if it’s a fit issue or a mentoring issue or an engagement issue. Whatever it is, that manager’s leader needs to start working on it.

But the tricky ones are the low performance/low potential folks. Even if you want to be benevolent or avoid rocking the boat and keep them in their current management role, their teams and your company will continue to underperform. You want to give these folks roles they can shine in, maybe on another team or in an individual contributor role. And you should mentor, coach, and train them to greatness there. I’ve known a lot of good-enough managers who became fantastic individual contributors. You should give them that chance. But then you must monitor their results closely. If they’re not going to hack it, the next time you make changes, maybe they can be part of a different organization. Have exit strategies.

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