Promoting the most senior or high-performing employees to a management role is a fairly common practice among companies, big and small.
At first glance, this may seem like a logical decision, with owners and managers believing that the competencies of one job can be transferred to a higher role. However, being the most senior or most competent team member does not necessarily guarantee success as a team leader.
As such, it is not surprising that many employees cite bad leaders as one of the primary reasons for quitting an otherwise good job.
Anatomy of a leader
What makes a good leader, well, a good leader?
Being named a manager does not translate to a simple change in designation. Along with the title comes a handful of responsibilities, often different from the ones you previously performed in your former role in the team.
At its core, being a manager is being a leader. And being a leader means achieving your company’s desired results through your influence on the people in your team.
Achieving those results can mean one of two things: You either use your position to compel your team members, or use persuasion. Which do you think makes for better leadership?
In essence, a good leader:
- Knows how to formulate reasonable and achievable goals
- Knows how to communicate these goals
- Holds everyone, including himself, accountable
- Knows how to balance the needs of team members against the goals of the company
- Unsurprisingly, a good leader’s team members readily trust and follow him.
Good leaders: Born or made?
Being placed in a management role can be intimidating, especially if you are not expecting it and are not adequately prepared for the new responsibilities that you need to bear.
Can you rise to the challenge, or are you bound to fail?
The question of whether a good leader is born or made has been around since time immemorial.
Indeed, certain individuals seem to be a natural fit for becoming a leader. But contrary to what some people may believe, good leaders can be made.
If you have been recently promoted to a managerial role, the worst thing that you can do is to perform your new responsibilities without regard for the impact of your actions on your team members.
If you are being groomed for a promotion to a leadership role, there are three key things that you need to do:
- Ask what makes a good leader.
- Perform an inventory of your qualities.
- Find ways to acquire the qualities that you lack.
By taking the initiative to learn which qualities you can leverage and which ones you should acquire, you are setting yourself and your team up for future success.
An investment that pays high dividends
One of the best ways to ease into a management role is to enrol in a leadership and management training course.
Investing in such a course benefits both individuals and companies. How exactly can a business benefit from such an investment?
- Recruitment and retention: Having good leaders onboard your company makes it easier for you to attract superstars and retain them. Not only will this translate to increased productivity, but furthermore, this can mean more considerable savings in the form of reduced recruitment costs
- Efficient performance: Under the guidance of a properly trained manager, your team can perform better and meet the goals that have been set for you. In the face of adversity and unexpected circumstance, a good leader can pivot and respond with grace and poise. This grace and poise, in turn, inspires confidence among team members.
- Clear communication: Clear and precise communication is a critical foundation for successful organizations. Through leadership training, new managers are imbued with the necessary skills needed to communicate the top management’s goals as well as persuade individual members to work toward those goals.
- Enhanced company culture: A company’s mission and vision are encapsulated in its culture. Maintaining that culture is made possible by holding everyone accountable – something that requires capable leadership.
Learning the basics
Leadership training courses will vary from one another. At the very least, your chosen program should contain two key components: how to lead a team and how to solve problems in the workplace with the right information.
The first component centers upon understanding your new role as a leader as well as appreciating the role and contributions of each individual team member.
In the second component, the critical goal is to make the right decisions needed to solve problems. Ideally, you should be able to arrive at these decisions using accurate information.
Upon mastering these basics, you can shift your focus toward other key leadership components. These include improving team performance, planning and monitoring, conflict management, and stress management in the workplace.
You may not feel worthy of being given the opportunity of managing a team. But remember, it is possible to acquire and master the necessary tools needed for success.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.