You remember the Peter Principle, right? Members of a hierarchy are promoted until they reach the level at which they are no longer competent. And the Dilbert Principle: Companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.

Tracy Dolgin, president and CEO of YES cable sports network, uses what he calls the Reverse Peter Principle. “Companies often promote people for doing a job well, not because they’ll be great managers. The key is to have managers continue as doers.” Dolgin finds the best doers in critical functions and recruits them to Yes Network. “The best doer who has a lot of experience can do more things than five or six or seven new doers.”

“Sometimes the best people, no matter how many layers up, have to become doers again for mission-critical tasks.”

Source: The New York Times Corner Office column by Adam Bryant.