I’m going to answer your question with a question of my own: Do your leaders really WANT to be leaders?
My experience in business and in the workplace is that we as organizations do people a very great DISSERVICE when the ONLY path for their GROWTH and development seems to be becoming a LEADER of others.
What happens is this:
- People do a good job.
- Then, they’re promoted up to lead others doing the same job.
- The challenge is the skills it takes to be a great leader are not the same skills it takes to do their original job.
- This creates a significant gap.
- And it becomes stressful and frustrating for the leader and for those they’re leading.
One of the reasons I’ve seen leadership development programs fail is because there are LEADERS who genuinely DON’T WANT TO BE LEADERS.
There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to be a leader. Some people just love their craft and want to do that work.
BUT, they feel like they HAVE to be a LEADER in order to grow in their careers and earn more income.
For companies to be more successful in the future, they need to take a different approach.
FIRST: Don’t make assumptions about how people want to grow in their careers.
Talk to them. Plan with them. Find ways to communicate with and support your team members to set them up for success. Investigate whether they actually want their career growth track to be the manager / leader track.
SECOND: Don’t automatically promote people who want to be managers.
Educate them on what great leadership looks like first! Make sure they know the role and responsibilities of a leader. Ensure they’re doing it for the right reasons, not just to get an increase in pay.
And…IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE HERE…make sure the leaders inside your organization are also MODELING great leadership…or the training you give new or prospective leaders will NOT be sustainable.
THIRD: Make opportunities available for career and income growth that aren’t connected to leadership.
Make opportunities available for career and income growth that aren’t connected to leadership. When the only path for advancement is the manager track, and there’s not another track available, you’ll have eager and motivated people becoming managers who don’t have the heart for it – and who won’t be a good fit. So it’s up to you as the leader in the organization to provide a different track for advancement.
FOURTH: When people ARE promoted to leadership roles, make sure they have continual support, coaching and training.
This enables them to continue growing in their role. Leaders should always be developing AND they should also be developing additional leaders.
Great leadership is essential for top business performance. I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s worth getting it right.
And the people working in your organization will stay motivated and committed for the long haul when they know that they will be given a path for growth, learning advancement in their career.