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A Bad Management Hire Is Almost Impossible To Correct


Tim & Selena Middleton via Flickr

The devastation wrecked on an organization due to a bad management hire can last decades.

We’ve all seen them. People who were promoted to a management position because of their success in a previous position or because of who they knew (or who their daddy knew). Often times, failed CEO’s are simply recycled into other organizations where they fail yet again. I’ve even seen people mistakenly hired to oversee hundreds of employees because they played tennis with the right people and had married into a prominent family.

A bad management hire is almost impossible to correct

But they’re painfully easy to spot.

Gallup just released their State of the American Manager report, finding that organizations hire the wrong people for management positions 82% of the time, costing the economy between $319 billion and $398 billion per year.

How do these people get promoted to management positions in the first place? Several reasons:

  1. It was their “turn” to be promoted
  2. They were successful in a previous, lesser role so the assumption was that they would succeed in a bigger role (see The Peter Principle)
  3. Hiring managers are perfect examples of the Dunning-Krueger Effect

Harsh? Perhaps. $398 billion is pretty harsh too.

What does a “low talent” manager look like?

They’re the exact opposite of a top performing manager.

Their team’s performance is stagnant because the manager isn’t engaged or even remotely connected emotionally to the organization’s goals. Their expectations, if they set any at all, are either too low or wildly optimistic. In other words, they’re out of touch.

They’re unable to initiate positive change and the team struggles to generate momentum. They’re always “starting with a fresh slate” but your organization doesn’t need another “fresh start” … it needs momentum.

They lack both personal accountability and accountability for others. Their inability to organize the team’s assignments coherently makes meeting any type of goal much more of a struggle.

They use fear and manipulation instead of building a trusting relationship with their team members. There’s very little trust, almost no transparency, and dialogue is virtually non-existent.

They let office politics run the show. When it comes time to make any sort of decision, all the political implications are considered first. Expediency rules the day and the first law is “Don’t Get Fired.” The second law is “Find the Decision I’m Most Comfortable With.” The 187th law is “Do What’s In The Best Interest of Everyone Involved.”


There is good news

Each of these defining characteristics are measurable using the right battery of psychometric evaluations. In less than 45 minutes, we can tell you each managerial candidate’s propensity for:

  • Understanding how to provide the motivation their team needs
  • Exercising the proper assertiveness to overcome obstacles
  • Applying both Personal Accountability and Accountability for Others
  • Building positive relationships with team members and clients
  • Solving problems without getting bogged down in petty office politics
  • Planning for contingencies, having an eye on the future, and making a decisions based on the best interests of the company and everyone involved

Gallup’s research into 27 million employees led by 2.5 million managers has shown that only an elite 10% have all these qualities naturally. They’re the top performing managers your company needs. Another two in ten can get there IF their organization supports them with intensive coaching and training.

In an age where the ability of employees and managers to adapt and innovate is what determines the future of most organizations, corporate directors must begin to educate themselves on talent assessment. C-suite appointments should not be made based on intuition or cursory evaluations. Instead, directors must commit themselves to learning and living the best practices for making the right hiring decisions. ~ Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

If you want a top performing managerial team, you’ll have to search for it (it may already be working at your company). And based on the dismal failure rate (82%) of most organizations, there’s very little chance of finding that team without the right tools to help you identify it.

Research indicates you need an outside voice that isn’t impressed by a resume, an interview that went well, a candidate’s previous success, political connections, or a list of credentials as long as your arm; a voice with reason, that can see things more objectively.

With the right tools, you can identify leaders and managers that fit the criteria to take your organization to a position of superior performance. It will require four different validated instruments backed by brain science:

  1. A behavioral analysis to determine how a potential candidate will approach obstacles, accountability, and build trust
  2. A motivators evaluation to determine how a potential managerial candidate will handle office politics and still remain collaborative
  3. An emotional intelligence assessment to determine how a potential managerial candidate will relate with and understand people
  4. An axiological values analysis to determine how a potential managerial candidate will employ an empathetic outlook, hold themselves and others accountable, and make systematic judgements

Without all four, you’re likely to flounder with the 82%. 

Is that acceptable to you?

What are the implications of more managerial mis-hires for your organization?

Are you willing to do anything about it other than the same old thing you’ve done for the last 15 years?

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Want to learn more? Contact us ( and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create genuine Job Matching System solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at or at 870-761-7881.