Manager: a person in a role in which he or she is held accountable not only for their own personal effectiveness but also for the output of others; and is accountable for building and sustaining an effective team of subordinates capable of producing those outputs, and for exercising effective leadership. (Jaques 1998)

If we are to hold a Manager Accountable for the output of their subordinates. Managers must have some control over who their subordinates are.

4 Minimum authorities that every manager must have in order to be an effective and trustworthy managerial leader.

Authority to deselect a subordinate after due process

All managers should be provided with the unequivocal authority to decide that a particular person, who is no longer working at a minimum effectiveness required for their role (for example the persons best is NOT good enough for the role), whether due to loss of commitment, not keeping up with new knowledge and technology, whatever the reason. This person will no longer keep their position with that manager, they have been de-selected.

This does not mean that the Manager has the authority to terminate or fire the employee. The subordinate has done nothing wrong, and just cannot or will not keep up with the minimum effectiveness needed to fill the role.

Termination of employment comes from flagrant or repeated infractions against regulations, policies and procedures of the organization. These infractions are against the organization and must be dealt with not by the immediate manager but by an official acting on behalf of the organization.

Managers DON’T need to be given the authority to terminate employees at will; that authority must lie higher up in the organization.

The manager however MUST have the authority to de-select individuals who are no longer working to the effectiveness needed to fill the role.

General process for deselection

  • Manager is required to warn the subordinate that they are not doing well enough
  • Manager must inform their own manager of the situation
  • Manager must offer coaching for a reasonable amount of time
  • If there is no improvement, manager warns again, coaches again
  • Still no improvement – Decide to Deselect and inform the subordinate and the managers manager.

This process, when properly implemented, strips managers of opportunities to complain about subordinates and puts the accountability of the subordinates work squarely on the shoulders of the manager (where it belongs). If a subordinate is not getting the work done, STOP complaining and institute the deselection process, and start coaching.