Management Potential on Your Team – or Not

While I’m very confident in my ability to lead, and to get the job done, experience has allowed me to discover a very fundamental thing about myself, and I’m glad to have recognized it and more importantly, learn from it: I am NOT a good manager of people. Yes, I know what needs to be done, I know HOW to do, but when it comes down to actually managing people, and the relationships between them, I very simply do not enjoy it and lose the enthusiasm I had my career.

No matter how much a manager thinks they are doing me a favor, that promotion to a manager of people is just the opposite. Next time you are looking from within for a manager, remember not everyone wants that job. A great article at Inc covers more things that I think everyone looking to promote from within needs to know.

Not all high-performers make good managers. 

So read up, and choose your next manager wisely!

Recognize managerial skill

Appoint someone as a manager because they exhibit managerial skills, not because they consistently hit their operational targets.

Understand that leadership must evolve

A parenting technique that works with your two-year-olds will have limited impact should you persist with it when your children are teenagers. Same with business. You need to lead them differently as they grown and become more complex.

Mentor, model, teach, and reward “horizontal leadership”

When appointing managers for the first time, it’s easy to emphasize the “vertical” aspect of their new responsibilities–managing their direct reports. After all, that’s the reason you’re appointing them in the first place: to manage others. Problem is, that’s not where the main threat to the company lies. It lies in the new managers failing to work well together, horizontally.

Recognize that it’s your job to mold the new managers into a team

Implicit in the act of appointing new managers is a fundamental shift in your own job description. As their leader, your primary deliverable is not to oversee each individual manager’s activities (although that’s an important secondary goal), but rather to mold the new team into just that–a cohesive team.


photo credit: Victor1558 via photo pin cc