Appointment season gets its start
Umbrellas are in demand on rainy days, and shoe stores enjoy brisk business on sunny days. The latest hot business may be flower shops, especially the ones specializing in orchids. The end of the year means promotion announcements, and we see cars and bikes everywhere delivering orchid pots with celebratory ribbons. Those who are promoted to powerful positions receive so many flowers and potted plants that they cannot find space to display them all.
The HR announcement sections in newspapers are filled with promotion notices. It is the regular promotion season for various government offices, public corporations and private companies, but this year’s presidential election has really brought on a surge. HR managers at agencies and organizations that have been watching the presidential election closely are making decisions now that the election is over. There were rumors that government offices and some companies that do business with the government were waiting with different promotion options depending on the outcome of the race.
For any organization, success and failure is determined by personnel decisions. Depending on who is employed and promoted to certain positions, the fate of the organization can change. Failing organizations often appoint people based on personal relationships or preferences without taking performance or competence into account. Sometimes, the one with the decision-making power is influenced by those close to him or he or she makes a decision based solely on a narrow evaluation. Also, some promotions are made routinely based on the number of years someone has served in a company. The leader who understands the “Peter Principle,” which says that “employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence,” would not make a mistake of filling the upper management with incompetents.
The power of a leader comes from his promotion decisions. The position of presidency is coveted for the power to appoint and promote. There are 7,000 to 10,000 positions that the president of Korea can influence in appointments directly and indirectly. They include the appointments made by the heads of government agencies appointed by the president, the workers at the central government, public corporations and public agencies.
President-elect Park Geun-hye has promised fairness, and her personnel appointments are now being announced. It may be too early, but the public will judge the potential of the Park administration on her decisions. Employing a self-righteous person who is unwilling to listen is like waiting for customers with a rabid dog in front of your shop.
The grand market of presidential appointments opens every five years. Many people are promoting themselves using all the connections they have. The wisdom of this promotion season is to understand one’s own capacity and be free from greed.
* The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Bae Myung-bok