Our new hire has been with us for just a month and is already expecting to be promoted. How do I manage these unrealistic expectations?
Option No. 1 – Fire him. That would deliver a bracing dose of reality, but pretty harsh.
Option No. 2 – Promote him. But then you would be joining his fantasy world.
Option No. 3 – Enlighten him. Teach him a better way to harness his ambition.
If he wants to succeed, he should add the south pole of humility to the north pole of magnanimity.
Business guru Jim Collins notes that great leaders display both strengths. “To make something great, their ambition has to be for the greatness of the company, rather than for themselves. They are a study in duality: modest and willful, humble and fearless.” (Good to Great, 2001) Speaking of fearless, magnanimity (don’t ask me to pronounce it) is a sub-virtue of the cardinal virtue of courage or fortitude. St. Thomas Aquinas defines magnanimity as “the stretching forth of the mind to great things.” As only he can, the Angelic Doctor marries magnanimity with humility. “Man is worthy of great things in consideration of the gifts he holds from God … but humility makes a man think little of himself in consideration of his own deficiency.” Humility without magnanimity falls short. Magnanimity without humility falls down. Make sense? You might suggest that your new hire study some humble/great leaders such as Joan of Arc or Nelson Mandela, not to mention Jesus Christ, the Exemplar of magnanimity and humility.