Building Your Next Manager | 3 Questions That Should Be on Your Checklist
Written by Mikala Young
We’ve all experienced an unintentional leader in the workplace. They are the individual contributors who are on the high-performing list to be groomed for new opportunities that present themselves in the company. They are doing their job so well that companies ultimately end up promoting them into a management position without ever assessing if they are great at doing their job on top of managing others. Most people believe that the only way to grow within an organization is to become a manager without ever stopping to ask if that’s truly what they want to do ultimately leading into what is deemed as the unintentional leader. HR professionals should stop to assess what type of employees they want to groom into the future leaders of their organization. Put these three questions on your high-performing checklist.
How do they take feedback?
Before transitioning an individual contributor to a management role, have you seen how they react to feedback given by their leader as well as others in the organization? A strong leader in your organization uses feedback as fuel to be a better leader - they follow up with questions that allow them to reflect on their weaknesses and take those things into account as they continue to grow into their career. Feedback is always something a strong leader runs towards vs. hides from. These are the kind of leaders that you want in your organization; especially when it comes to managing others.
Do they exhibit the characteristics of a Servant Leader?
The most powerful leader in an organization is the one that is a servant to their team. Servant leaders show up for their peers, they go above and beyond to make sure that they are adding value to the team vs. hurting the team. These types of leaders have a humility about them that doesn’t allow ego to get in the way but rather opens the door for others to shine and praises them along the way. In other words, they put their team before themself. This kind of leader is so imperative in your organization; they’re likely to be empathetic, flexible, and open-minded to change.
How do they communicate?
Effective communication starts with listening. How well does this person listen to his/her peers? How often do they over-communicate to make sure everyone involved in a project understands the goals and outcomes needed to be successful? How resourceful are they in terms of the channels they use to communicate with the team? How are they communicating with leaders when their peers aren’t around? Do they communicate and advocate for not just themselves but others? Again, all signs of a great leader lead itself back to a phenomenal communicator.
There are a host of reasons why you should be careful who you put into your leadership roles. It all ties back into retention. People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers. As you create growth opportunities and as you take a look at your high-performing employees, I challenge you to take a step back and make sure they are ready to manage a team and most importantly aspire to manage others.