More Manna on Mediocrity

Another input from someone regarding the “Mediocrity” piece in the newsletter At C-Level
Very interesting newsletter, Kevin. Thanks for keeping me on the distribution list. I liked the article on the dearth of management talent, but the piece on mediocrity hit home for me, and not just because I suspect that I might know the “secret” identity of your client.

Much of the frustration managers seem to have arises from the fact that management teams not only reward mediocrity, but we also seem to tolerate unsatisfactory performance and insubordinate behavior, even when those two deadly viruses infect the same host. That kind of culture makes it increasingly difficult to motivate star performers on a consistent basis.

What medicine could we use to cure our managers of this illness.
Thanks for the comments.

Interestingly, there are now 4 past or current clients who thought I was talking about “them.”

The necessary “medicine” for recovery is much like any other enabled behavior: First, you have to realize there’s a problem, then believe that removing the problem is a “better place.”

After that, it’s simply a process – a step-by-step (12-step??) process to alleviate the issue. Not complicated (as in ‘complex’) but not easy to pull off, either.

Mediocrity is typically so ingrained in an organization, it’s being substituted for “satisfactory” performance. Becomes quite insidious, and difficult at times to extricate surgically. Sometimes, it may take a “smart bomb” to laser in on the problem, blow it up, then start rebuilding.

The sooner the bomb drops, the faster we can move forward.


Kevin Berchelmann

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