I had breakfast the other day with an executive who told me that if she was promoted, she’d quit her job. She went on to say how happy she was in her current role because the job she was in was perfect for her. She had no desire or intention of giving up what she worked so hard to earn.
How many times have you promoted someone only to have them quit soon thereafter? You may think you know what your people want, but you can’t know for sure unless you ask them. Before you promote someone, ask them if this is what they want. Then sit back and listen to their answer.
I’ve had a number of people attend my Suddenly in Charge leadership workshops who are not in the position of managing people. They’ve told me they are attending so they can determine whether or not management is really for them. My hat is off to them, as they realize that management is not for everyone.
So what do you do if you have a manager who is failing miserably? Before investing resources, ask him or her how they feel about being in management. If you have another position elsewhere in the organization where they can remain an individual contributor, then let them know that’s an option. Make it okay for them to take a step back.
If more companies asked their people whether or not they were interested in being promoted into management before promoting them, we’d have a lot less people reluctantly taking on leadership roles and much stronger leadership throughout organizations.