Looking to Improve Leadership? Stop Doing What Every Other Company is Doing!
by Brian Cavataio 04/26/2021
When replacing a supervisor or foreman, most companies promote their best production employee into a leadership role. The assumption is that because the employee is great at their job, they can run the crew.
The problem is that just because someone is good at a job doesn’t automatically mean that they will be successful as a leader of people doing that job. Examples: a plumbing contractor will take the best plumber on the crew and make him or her the foreman. Manufactures will take the best machine operator and put that person in the role of the department supervisor.
So now you have lost your most productive employee and the production they provided. Those employees are promoted into roles that require a new set of skills that they may not have. Does the person who was the best producer have the ability to influence others?
While you can promote someone into a leader’s position, it doesn’t automatically give them the skillset to be a leader. A company that lacks Leadership will provide poor service, make inferior products, and leave clients unhappy.
Casting your best workers into leadership positions without the tools and training they need to succeed is a lose/lose situation. You lose production from your best employee. They lose being cast into a role they are not prepared to handle.
Create education opportunities for your workforce. You will find out who your future leaders are by who takes advantage of these opportunities. Good leaders have a desire to learn. You can do this by having some lunch and learn meetings. Do a short seminar after working hours or on a Saturday morning.
Giving prospective leaders a chance to coach new members of your team is an excellent way to show them they can lead. Give people a chance to take over a portion of a project or change a short-term project that will allow them to grow their skills.
Most importantly is to start to build the leadership pipeline before the person is needed.