“He/She was so good before I moved them. I don’t know what happened.” That is said so often, it is almost unbelievable. The problem isn’t “them.” The problem is that you promoted excellent performers with a specific set of skills into a position that does not require what they are good at doing.

Unfortunately, this happens quite often; and maybe it has happened to you as well. Someone excels at Sales, so we make them a Sales Manager, sprinkle them with holy water, and expect they will manage and lead as well as they sold. When the anticipated miracle doesn’t take place, we begin to ask ourselves, “What did we ever see in him/her in the first place?”

When it comes time to “reward” people by moving them into management, take some time to make a list of the candidates for the position. Ask yourself these 10 questions about each person:

  1. Is there a bias toward action: making sure things get done?
  2. Are communications open, clear, and timely: there’s some meat to what’s being said?
  3. Does he/she adjust easily and quickly to changing circumstances: are they practical?
  4. Does he/she prioritize properly and organize resources on the basis of most important first?
  5. Can they make decisions that do not have a great deal of support from others?
  6. Are they more concerned with being popular than with taking required actions?
  7. Can they handle surrounding themselves with highly talented subordinates?
  8. If financial circumstances were different, could they be in business for themselves?
  9. Are they confident enough to make mistakes?
  10. Having made a mistake, are they humble enough to change direction?

When you can answer “yes” to every question, you have someone that is going to be worth your time and money. You have someone who is both leader and manager; and both of the roles are important to business performance.

This is someone who appreciates all three legs of the leadership stool: Administrative, Talent/Skill (including knowledge), and Interpersonal Skills. They build relationships by encouraging and engaging others to achieve a common vision.

In today’s business mode, you cannot afford to have managers who do not get it. 

 Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on how to overcome related succession planning issues.