We’ve seen an uptick in training requests recently and have been talking a good bit about helping managers to be not only promoted, but also prepared…but what do you do BEFORE you promote those wonderful management candidates? They must be prepared, but there is some preparation and a few questions YOU might want to ask them, as well, before that magnificent promotion. In fact, here’s three of the most important.
The focus of a new leader is often on the task at hand. What do they need to “get done” first and foremost? But knowing who is on the team they lead is critically important as a leader is not a one man band, but rather the head of a team. If they give you names, ask them to expand to attributes. If they give you attributes, ask them to expand to contributions. And if they give you all of the above, start looking for the next position you’ll promote them to shortly after this one… You want them not only to know who the people are, but have some idea as to how they are going to help develop future leaders of their own.
Now no one with any sense is going to tell you “because you’re going to pay me more to do so than I’m making now”, but you and I both know that might be the truth. If that’s the ONLY reason, well then, Houston we have a problem. A Harvard leadership professor recently wrote an article on the value of soft skills in middle to executive leaders and once you read it, if you’re not convinced that those you promote need to have their heart AND brain engaged in the act of leadership, then there may be a need for a company-wide refocus. Leaders who fail to see the impact of how they influence, guide, develop, and interact with others will cause you problems down the road.
Here you are looking for the frequent use of the word “I” in their answers. A potentially successful leader will fail if he makes the plan for the team without any real input FROM the team. Whether there is talk of a SWOT analysis, individual one on ones, or a reevaluation or reset of their expectations or direction, most of the time something in this answer needs to include asking them how they see the team evolving and growing or changing.
It is not only the potential leader who needs to be prepared for promotion. You’re not merely promoting this person to make their day, but to help grow the business and possibly the bottom line. Ask these questions before you make the final offer and if you find there is a need for soft skills, training and development for the team or the new leader, or an evaluation of job fit, it might be time to consider a bit of Contagious Consulting.
I’m Monica Wofford, and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!