So, you lost a high-performing individual and gained an untrained manager!

How often do you see a high-performing individual promoted to a managing position based on a skill set or mastery of a craft that took them months or even years to conquer? Managing people is arguably one of the most complex things a person can do in their career.

This concept, originally outlined by Charl Associates in their publication from 2015, describes flaws and recurring mistakes of managers across all industries.  Being good at a specific skill set does not always equate to being good at managing people, especially in technical industries.  Technical industries require years of dedication to focused topics and degrees and their managers are often as weak in managing people as they are strong in technical skills.  One bad manager can cost your company 5 high potential employees.  Make this promotion process slow and methodical.  Do it right the first time!

Let’s go into more detail:

1.       Arrogance

An overly expanded ego means that the manager is less likely to welcome feedback. Improvement and sustainment based on lessons learned are critical components to a project or operational life cycle.  Arrogance can mask the reasons for success and failure.  If there is difficulty in finding a baseline of reasons or rationale for failure or success, it makes it extremely difficult for a team or department to know what should be improved or sustained going forward. 

2.       Early Promotion

High performance in one role does not guarantee high performance in the next role.  This is a generally agreed-upon statement in most social circles, especially when different skill sets are required.  Develop the key performance metrics for a manager and ensure you have a way to measure those metrics prior to hiring.  Especially metrics that outline ‘soft skills such as, interpersonal communication, self-confidence, or collaboration and team building.   

3.       Recurrent Failure

Consistent inability to meet goals results in failure, regardless of position. Coaches, like managers, live and die by the results of the program they lead.  A coach who consistently produces a losing record must look, internally first, to change their techniques by tweaking messaging, practice techniques, and game-time strategy.  

4.       Self-Oriented

An over-emphasis on yourself and personal goals is the fastest way to divide your team. In a boat with 4 people paddling, no single oarsman is more valuable than the sum of the team’s effort. A manager must realize that clear organizational focus and teamwork are more powerful and efficient than an unbalanced, increased effort by the manager. The only way the team in the boat succeeds is by training and structuring processes to make the boat move as fast and as straight as possible. 

 5.       Narrow Ability

The development of skills in any position is a requirement for success. Additionally, a lack of self-development will lead a manager to continue to make the same mistakes and not improve.  The team’s performance will become stagnant and perhaps decline with a lack of development in necessary management skills. 

 In summary, the team accomplishes what the individual cannot.  Managers are critical to any large or growing organization.  They are the conduit to other critical components such as retention, culture, and economic growth.  The better your management team is, the better and more loyal your employee base will be within your organization.  Organizations and individuals invest heavily in degrees and certificates for employees, so why do we fail to invest in developing our managers with appropriate training and feedback?

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