Leadership Field Are your promotions failing? Here’s why, and what to do about it.

By Guest Blogger, Stu Danforth Positive Leadership Dynamics

In most companies in this country, employees who show a high proficiency in their job get promoted. Good accountants become managers of other accountants. Good engineers become managers of other engineers.  Sound familiar?  Here is the secret: These managers often have never been assessed for managerial skill and often have zero talent for it.

After the promotion of an unsuited manager, their team often does well for about three to six months.  Then performance starts to decline, morale drops, and productivity craters.  Why?  Because that’s when it becomes clear management requires a different and distinct skill set.

Get beyond this problem.  First, admit this error – which might be difficult because most senior leaders are a product of this system.

Second, create new promotion paths – one for the technically proficient folks, and another for the people who show true skill and talent at managing other people. Promoting a highly valued employee shouldn’t mean they have to manage others if that is not what they are good at.

Third, assess for management skill, and give them support.  To get the right people managing others, assess that skill and promote for it.

Managing others is hard work; great managers influence, guide, mentor, motivate, discipline, activate, engage, support, and drive their team members.  Those are social, not technical skills.  They are the skills of human engagement.

You have good people in your organization. Don’t create problems by promoting them into roles they are not suited for.  You will get to thriving much faster with the right promotion plan in your organization.


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