In my previous job as a member of the West Point faculty, I had the responsibility of selecting a few cadets (of the 130 in the organization) for specific leadership positions each semester. This gave those selected cadets a focused opportunity to practice their leadership in a safe and supportive environment, while striving to improve the company they led. Of course, I could not pick every cadet for important roles over the semesters available.
But after a few semesters of managing these decisions, one of my soon-to-graduate cadets offered candid feedback during a one-on-one meeting with me. He said that many in the organization viewed me as a “puppet master,” selecting the cadets I personally preferred for these leadership positions, leaving the rest without opportunity to be considered.
Whoa. Definitely NOT my intent.More