What would you say if I told you that the flight you are taking abroad will be piloted by a new pilot who only has theoretical knowledge about flying a plane? Or that the back operation you will be having, will be completed by a surgeon with only theoretical knowledge?
I’m going to to take a wild guess and assume that your reaction will be far from favourable. Would it change your mind if I said that we should give the pilot and surgeon a chance and that they will learn as they go?
Yes, there are glaringly obvious gaps. Lack of practical skills and competencies. It would be unheard of for people to be placed in these positions with a lack of specialist skills.
So why is it that businesses promote individuals into management and or leadership positions without people or management skills? Unfortunately this type of practise has become a norm in business, where the newly appointed employee is expected to fumble and bumble their way through things. “Don’t worry, they will learn as the go! “ Why is this seen as acceptable? Not a great set up for that specific individual, the team they are suppose to be supporting, or the customers who are exposed to the employee’s frustrations though bad service and inferior products.
You may point out that you cannot compared a pilot or a surgeon’s lack of skills to a managers lack of people and/or leadership skills. Well, besides the imminent life or death part, you absolutely can compare it.
Business success is built on the business goals being achieved by the people working in the business. If people don’t perform, business fails – simple.
Survey after survey will tell you that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Companies spend thousands of dollars every year on recruiting, re-training, re-structuring trying to build successful, productive teams. What would the recruitment bill look like or the employee retention ratio be, if more focus was placed on promoting people and leadership skills?
Employees want and need to be treated and managed correctly, which develops engaged and motivated team members, which in turn is what builds trust, loyalty and retention.
So if you don’t want your business or department to crash and burn or bleed out on the operating table, think about your people skills and how you manage your team!
If you need some help, join the Leadership Coaching Series. a 3-month intensive distance coaching programme, to help build your leadership skills and competencies.