My household help for the last 12 years leaves for her annual vacation to her village every year, arranging a standby help for me. On returning, every time, she gets into a fight with her substitute, berating her for shoddy work, continuing to grumble for a few days after return. It would upset and baffle me. Initially, the only explanation I had was that she set high standards of housekeeping and no one matched up to it.
A few years later a new perspective dawned on me, which is useful for us managing teams and moving up the ladder.
Part of this emanated from her anxiety of being replaceable. To discover that someone else could do a job in her absence as well as her was a scary prospect. So, running their work down was key to her self esteem and sense of security.
Do we reflect this behavior as we move up the hierarchy and evaluate juniors taking over our past roles? Is our assessment truly driven from a feedback and improvement perspective or does it get tinged with a ‘your work is not a patch on how well I used to do it’ ?
It is a real risk that we start ‘competing’ with the people we are meant to mentor. Maybe no one tells us how to move on to the new role in a real sense.
How do you separate the performer from the mentor in you?