How well qualified must a promotable be?

When Group Leader Ed Honig took early retirement, Tom Phillips seemed a sure bet to step into his job. Tom was thus understandably stunned when Maintenance Foreman Pete Russo tapped Pat Greene for the promotion.

03/01/1999


When Group Leader Ed Honig took early retirement, Tom Phillips seemed a sure bet to step into his job. Tom was thus understandably stunned when Maintenance Foreman Pete Russo tapped Pat Greene for the promotion.

"I've got better training for the job," Phillips protested. "And I've got better experience, and more seniority."

"I can't argue that," Russo conceded, "but in picking someone for a key supervisory job, there are other qualifications involved."

"Like what?"

"Like team spirit for one thing. Enthusiasm for another. Leadership for a third."

"That's a crock," Phillips replied. "This is a clear case of prejudice."

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Tom, but the record speaks for itself. I recall you giving Ed Honig a hard time when he was hard pressed for someone to work overtime. You made it clear you didn't share Ed's concern about getting the work out on time. As far as leadership was concerned, I can't remember you showing any."

Phillips refused to settle for this. "The contract calls for the senior qualified person to be first in line for promotion."

"Agreed. But as I tried to point out, in this case qualified extends beyond experience and seniority. That's why Pat's my choice."

"We'll see about that."

Question: Can Phillips overturn Russo's decision?

Grayson's verdict: Plant Engineer Ralph Grayson backed the supervisor's selection. "In promoting people, good work attitude and teamwork are as important as seniority. These qualities are especially important where a leadership job is involved. You were correct in pointing out to Phillips that, as his work record demonstrates, he would be a poor role model for any employee reporting to him."





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