This is a lesson from Peter F. Drucker during the 1990s when he was working with 2 young partners who were in their mid 30s. One fine day, a senior called him in his office to throw light on the fact that while the work he was doing was great but not what was expected of him when he was holding a higher position.
It drove Drucker furious to see that the senior was not praising him like the others were. But he knew that the senior was right.
Drucker believes that among those who are promoted, not many work towards new process development, deliver process excellence and become successful. A huge number of them face outright failure and a large number will be of those who neither succeed nor fail the new assignment. The count of success stories is very less.
What happens during the new assignment?
After investing 10 to 15 years of their career into a business, people no longer contribute to process excellence, become incompetent and new process development takes a back seat. This happens because they pursue the new assignment with the same attitude and vision what got them success, rewards and recognition in the old assignment. It is not that they become incompetent but they start doing things wrong.
What does one need to succeed?
It is Drucker’s observation that to be successful in any new assignment does not require exceptional knowledge or talent but rather focus on the things that the new assignment needs. The person assigned with a task must have the relevant knowledge, coaching and skills to accomplish process excellence; however, the individuals must take the responsibility of their self-development and new process development too. The individual must have the motivation and urge to acquire the in depth knowledge and skills needed to pursue the assignment.