TopicThree Weeks to Change Habits - Does It Work? How to Keep Going to Make Sure It Does
Here's what was really going on: At some point, John's reputation in the Subliminal Guru Review company had become that of a solid, steady performer, but that's it. Senior leaders did not see him as dynamic or as a risk-taker. They didn't view him as a guy who would (or could) stimulate the aggressive, energetic contribution of others, and they didn't envision him as a guy who could become that person. They were totally happy with John's performance, but they didn't envision him as having upward potential.
They wouldn't actually tell him that because they didn't want him to leave, but they weren't about to risk promoting him into a position that they were convinced was out of his band-width. I'm not even sure that they knew that they viewed him that way. John was stuck. He was convinced that he'd eventually get promoted, but it simply wasn't going to happen. I shared my perspective with him. He eventually resigned and re-invented himself elsewhere.
Two versions of every person exist within an organization. The first, that I call the " personnel file story," is the official version. The personnel file documents a person's performance and history. Her performance appraisals, contained therein, document the reasons for her compensation increases and sometimes provide formal documentation of her future prospects.
The second version is what I call an individual's "water cooler story." It's even more important to one's future. This version refers to the way people talk about a person when he's not around. It often forms the basis of one's professional reputation, and it can either make or kill a career.