How To Promote For Resourcefulness And Avoid The Peter Principle

Rescuers:

  • make a living off of fixing everybody else’s problems.
  • have an attitude of superiority, as if they know what’s best for others.
  • thrive on being the one with all the answers.
  • adopt the belief that “I’m worthwhile, you’re worthwhile only if you take my advice and appreciate it.”

In French, the word “rescuer” is often translated as “savior.”

Rescuers are exceptionally attractive targets for promotion because they:

  • are great problem-solvers.
  • know a lot about the industry or job.
  • are assertive with their solutions.
  • show initiative.

Rescuers are a product of the Peter Principle. Rescuer leaders;

  • use show and tell instead of encouragement and support
  • undermine dignity and competence by solving problems for people instead of with them.
  • create a cultures of dependence and resentment.
  • squash innovation and creativity.

The solution: Promote and Develop Resourcefulness, not Rescuing. Resourceful leaders;

  • tune in to others’ needs, skills, motivators, and passions.
  • teach strategies instead of prescribed solutions.
  • embrace failure without judgment and nurture it toward opportunity for growth.
  • can detach from their own solutions to support the best solution.
  • are good coaches.

BONUS TIP: How do you know you are Rescuing?

Get an honest answer from as many people as you can to this one question:

“After you have an interaction with me around a problem, do you feel more or less confident in your abilities than you did before?”

If the answer is “less confident”, you have been rescuing.

Here’s a fun video showing a Rescuer in training. He seems to know all the answers. We should promote him!

https://youtu.be/TP8RB7UZHKI

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2017


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