Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Why is it that people want to be leaders in their field? Perhaps they have the excellent technical capability in their field and therefore crave more recognition? Perhaps it is their ability to inspire and motivate others to be as technically competent as them? Perhaps it is a wage increase? All of these reasons are fair and justified... ...my question is though..... Why aren't we more honest with people about the trials, long hours, juggling of responsibilities and the lack of glamour that comes with the role?
Consider Sally's story, one that becomes more and more familiar to me..
Sally was a perfectly happy consultant, making an excellent wage. Technically, she was hugely competent. She was called on to inspire and motivate new recruits which she did really well, they admired her. Sally had natural influencing abilities. When Sally went for a promotion run and got made manager of her department she felt it validated all her hard work, she finally felt recognised through her new title as the excellent staff member she was.
Then came the daily responsibilities of management, the payroll queries, the sickness and absence, the appraisal and probation processes, the meetings, the accountability for the actions of others....all of which took Sally away from what she loved to do most..
Suddenly Sally was no longer such an admired colleague with awesome technical capability and an ability to motivate and influence others, she was cloaked in other responsibilities that diluted that ability. Her title now making her less relatable and the extra responsibility not allowing her to do what she was so good at in the first place.
Of course, Sally's story isn't true of everyone promoted into leadership roles, however, it is one that we should be more mindful of.
Ask yourselves.... do we only recognise and reward our best employees with leadership and management promotion? Do we prepare individuals for the responsibility and day to day change that leadership and management brings? Are those that are most technically competent the best people to be leaders?
Preparation and realism of the expectations of leadership are key to success, internal talent programmes, leadership courses and support networking can all help individuals with a transition into leadership and management. Giving them the tools they need to remain a natural influencer whilst managing the demands of their team.
The bottom line though? Rewarding staff and celebrating them for what they do well can be a better decision for both them and the business rather than leadership or management promotion.
Want to know more about staff wellbeing and reward? Check out out wellbeing resources