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Do You Promote From Within?

Tom Lemanski

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Most organizations are proud of their practice of promoting their own employees.

  • It fosters your organization's values and culture.

  • It provides opportunities for professional growth and advancement vital to retaining an engaged workforce.

The Pitfalls

Without proper precautions, promoting from within can be perilous. How? Well intentioned organizations take their super producers and promote them to super-visors without providing the new skills needed to succeed at the new position. The super producers who have mastered the technical aspects of their job suddenly need to utilize unrefined soft skills in their new management position. Skills like communication, motivation, delegation, time management and decision making are critical to success. Where do newly promoted supervisors acquire these skills? They're super technicians! We assume they will be super managers?

A Familiar Example

How many times have you seen a top performing sales person fail when promoted to sales manager? What happens when this occurs?

  • The skills needed to succeed as a manager differ from those of a sales producer.

  • The previously super sales person struggles in his new role managing previous peers.

  • Sales force productivity and morale drops.

  • The promoted manager is either terminated or returns to the field either in disgrace or for a competitor.

What does this episode cost a company in lost sales and productivity? Is the same practice repeated in other departments with similar results?

Management eventually faces a dilemma.

Do you reprimand, demote or even terminate your former rising star?

What's the Solution?

How do you promote your super technicians and super producers without jeopardizing productivity and the futures of your most promising talent? Understand there is a difference between promotions based on technical proficiency and developing your own leadership. The difference lies in assessing and developing the elements necessary to assure a new manager's success.

Developing your own leadership requires robust processes for development of the people skills, attitudes and focus to assure promoted managers’ success.

Establishing programs for leadership development can avoid costly promotion failures and positively impact the bottom line by improving the effectiveness of your management talent.

An effective leadership development program could be considered as a promotion insurance policy that pays career long dividends.

Tom Lemanski is the President and founder of Vista Development, a boutique strategic development firm serving metro Chicago, IL Tom has served as business catalyst and executive coach in over thirty different product and service industries. Tom can be reached through any of the sites below or by phone: 847-726-7707


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