Are You Setting Up Your Managers to Fail?

As leaders of people, one of they key responsibilities of a manager is to develop his or her  team members. Team members need to be developed for the current role and for their future growth.

One of the most misaligned roles tends to be the role of the manager; those who are in charge of directing the work of others.  

Why? Think about the last manager you promoted.  

Why did you promote them?  Was it because you saw that they were great at identifying talent, setting expectations, motivating and developing others? Probably not…

Even through those are all key areas that a successful manager needs to hone in on.


Being a Great Performer Is Not the Best Reason to Promote a Manager

One of the most common answers to the question, “Why did you promote that person into a management role?”  is because they were a great performer in their role as an individual contributor.

This is not the best reason for putting them in a role where they are in charge of others… You could have taken the best independent sales person you ever had and put them in a place where they were not naturally equipped to thrive. Consequently you are setting them up for failure in their new role and causing frustration with the team members who report to them.

Gallup’s 2015 State of American Manager report found that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.

Misalignment happens in all types of roles, but not having the right managers in place sends ripple effects across your organization.

4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Promoting a Manager

Why is there such misalignment in roles? Do a quick audit of the following mis-steps many organizations fall into:

  1. Lack of Career Growth Paths
    Does your organization have various paths for career growth? This is critical to maintaining talent within your organization and minimizing the risk of putting someone on the next “rung of the ladder” because that was the only option for financial and professional growth.
  2. Inability to Direct Natural Talents &  Build Strengths 
    How good are your managers and leaders at spotting talent?  The ability to identify this and seek opportunities (projects or positions) for this talent to be applied and developed into strengths that serve your organization is key.
  3. Being Out of Tune with an Employee’s Development Goals
    How often have you taken the time to ask, “If you could do anything, what would that be?”  Hearing directly from your team members and digging into the reason they’re drawn to something is gold and so much better than guessing…
  4. Lack of Training for New Role
    Maybe they could do well in their role if they were given proper training to succeed.  I never cease to be amazed when I work with a new manager or one that has been in their role for quite some time and learn they never received training on how to transition from being an individual contributor to being in charge of people.  

How can your organization get ahead of these mis-steps?  I look forward to hearing how your organization is tackling these issues and ensuring your employees are in the right role.


Strengths Based organizations need leaders who walk their talk. Are you one of them?

Come join the conversation, this month we’ll be focusing on: Creating Leadership Influence – Focusing on the ROI – Debunking the “well rounded” myth – Leadership is about service: who are you serving?

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By | 2017-04-27T15:47:19-07:00 May 19th, 2016|News|