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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryant Gibby

Bryant Gibby Used car manager

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How do you know when its time to promote someone?

get a promotionWe recently promoted one of our top guys off of the sales floor to be our next finance manager. He has been with the store for 5 years and has definitely put in his time and earned the promotion. We have considered him for the promotion for quite a while but have failed to offer him the position due to some issues he needed to work on. We just had one of our two finance guys quit and were put in a position where we needed to make a decision quickly to fill the empty spot. Despite his shortcomings, we offered him the position because it was definitely our best option.

We have never questioned his ability to be a finance manager and he is definitely capable with regard to everything that the job will demand. He has always had a consistent problem with punctuality and has taken off way too much time for vacations in the past. Those problems have never really been an issue due to the fact that he has always performed at such a high level in sales.  The only hesitation that the GM and I had when we considered him for the promotion was whether or not he would be able to kick those bad habits and be dependable as a manager.

I finally convinced the GM that promoting this guy was definitely the best move for the store at this point. My hope in promoting him was that he would automatically improve and fix those problems because of the added responsibility that he would have. I really think that when you show confidence in a guy and take the leap of faith to promote him, that he will naturally "step up his game" so to speak. The problem with that, is that I had to somewhat stick my neck out on the line to convince him to make the move. Meaning, if things don't work out with our new guy (which I know they will), I will be the one that he blames for making a bad decision.

 So... Did I make the right call? Based off your past experience, do you guys agree that people will automatically raise the bar when you throw them a bone? Or am I way too optimistic?

 

Jared Hamilton
I dont think you did a bad thing. Often one of the easiest ways to change someone's behavior is to change their title. Thats not to say that I think you promote to solve problems, you NEVER want to do that, but it doesnt sound like that is what you are saying. A few years back we had a sales person who had a ton of talent, but was young and slightly immature not knowing when to goof off and when to be serious. There were days, many days when the owner wanted me to let him go but ultimately he left things up to me. We were patient, coached him and eventually he earned a promotion... at least in my eyes, the owner still didnt like him. He had progressed a lot and when he got the promotion he became one of the best finance mangers I have seen. Today he is in line to become a GSM for the same owner. I guess the point of the story is that your job as a leader is see and develop potential in people. Leaders dont see what people are, but what they can become. You wont always be right, but ultimately i think good leaders stay close to their people, serve them and use their judgement to help them grow. I think you made the right call. good luck and keep us posted on the progress.

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