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Got leaders? Ask a jury of their peers

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

If your managers completely control hiring and firing, and you’d like to explore a less hierarchical system, consider adding peer reviews.

Take the U.S. Army’s Ranger school, as described by Kelly Perdew, one of only about a third of candidates who earn a Ranger tab on their first 67-day battle with the wilderness.

In rotating leadership positions, candidates earn either a “go” or “no go” for accomplishing each of three missions. The main pass/fail system is based on a checklist, but each also undergoes peer evaluations after each mission.

If leaders don’t carry their weight, it shows up in the team’s vote at mission’s end.

The worst performer in each course is “recycled”: held back until the next class of would-be Rangers passes through. If it happens more than once, the Ranger school cans that candidate.

The system mirrors business’s use of 360-degree evaluations, says Perdew, who went on from Ranger school to win the second season of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice”; except that in business, the boss makes the final call.

Ratings from peers and subordinates are always most telling. You can fool your supervisors sometimes, Perdew notes, but you’ll never fool your subordinates.

—Adapted from Take Command, Kelly Perdew, Regnery Publishing.

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