Promotion decision: What role should attitude play?

"Attitude," says author Alfred Montapert, "is more important than aptitude." Maintenance Foreman Louis Creskin agrees. It was his basis for bypassing Harvey Scheer for advancement to a senior troubleshooter's job.

07/01/1998


"Attitude," says author Alfred Montapert, "is more important than aptitude."

Maintenance Foreman Louis Creskin agrees. It was his basis for bypassing Harvey Scheer for advancement to a senior troubleshooter's job.

From the standpoint of experience and seniority, Scheer was a leading contender. But in Creskin's opinion, he fell short in the responsibility and cooperation department. As he told his assistant, "I won't promote a man I don't trust or respect to a key job."

When Scheer learned he was being bypassed he stirred up a storm. "I'm a senior man with 10-yr experience. No one in the department is better qualified."

"Maybe so. But your attitude doesn't measure up. This is a key job. It calls for a person with a strong sense of responsibility."

"I'm as responsible as anyone," Scheer insisted. "I should at least be given a chance."

"Shape up and maybe your chance will come the next time around."

Scheer was unwilling to wait. He threatened to sue.

Question : Should Scheer have been given a crack at the job?

Craig's verdict: "Your rationale makes sense," Plant Engineer Roy Craig told Creskin, "but I would give him a chance nonetheless for two reasons. One: An opportunity like this could motivate him to measure up. Two: While published company policy on promotion stresses qualification, it doesn't specify attitude as a qualifying ingredient. If Scheer's attitude proves a deterrent, he can be downgraded."

Please note: This case underscores the importance of defining qualification to include attitude in published policy statements.





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