responsibility hierarchy

Sometimes you’ll see a flock of birds performing very complex coordinated movements with no apparent leader. Such displays from nature are interesting to observe but there is no way to have a functioning organization of humans without leaders. But who emerges as a leader and why does this happen?

Managers are often promoted up to their level of incompetence. This is because traditional management and employees have unwittingly conspired to focus only on the rewards of certain positions on the responsibility hierarchy and not on the responsibility itself. This leads to strategic errors such as using promotions as a reward for quality work or tenure.

This pattern of misplaced leadership repeats itself across a wide range of organisations. I am quite sure that you know a few people in yourself who were promoted to their level of incompetence instead of their ability to handle the complexity of the higher responsibility role.