Leadership development: Making it Intentional

October 3, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development should be intentional. But sometimes it‘s accidental. Art Petty describes what that’s like in his post, “New Manager Development—Put Your Back Into It.

“While a few organizations treat new manager development as a strategic imperative, in most I encounter, the work is ad hoc with inconsistent results. Too often, competent contributors are tapped on the shoulder and given a “great opportunity” to step-up and manage a group. Lacking context for this challenging role, they flail and regularly fail, creating headaches for the promoting manager, the team, and the hapless formerly solid individual contributor turned lousy manager. If the new manager flames out during the first year, the promoting manager is back to square one and in many cases, the cycle repeats.”

If you want to break that cycle, you must do two things. Start by preparing potential leaders for their new role long before you “tap them on the shoulder.”

Leadership development begins before promotion

Assign aspiring leaders to temporary jobs so they can try on leadership. They will learn if they enjoy the work. No amount of potential will save a new manager who doesn’t revel in leadership work. You can also observe how aspiring leaders take to the role.

Train aspiring leaders to develop their leadership skills. Coach them to help squeeze the most value from training and on-the-job learning.

Starting early gives you the opportunity to identify men and women you want to promote. But promotion isn’t a finish line. It’s the start of a critical transition.

Leadership development and the transition to leadership

The transition from individual contributor to manager is a critical time. Provide training, coaching, and peer support to help the new manager grow into their new role. Help them learn to learn from experience.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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