Mythbuster: They’re our star employees – they must be capable of becoming Managers!

We see this one all of the time.

‘Joe is absolutely fantastic at Marketing! Now we’re growing, let’s make him our Marketing Manager and put him in charge of a team!’.

‘Julie is a phenomenal Developer. So good in fact that I think we should make her our Lead Developer’.

Sound familiar?

Well it’s not just in the SME world that this happens. In fact, large businesses often make the same mistake. Often because they feel it’s the best and only way to retain and motivate that star employee.

But to automatically assume that, just because someone is technically very skilled, they will make a great Manager can be one of the worst errors you ever make in business.

Management and Leadership positions require a whole different set of skills to technical ones. Soft skills. The ability to communicate. To listen. To feedback. To mentor and coach. To motivate and inspire. And to adapt their style to get the most from their team.

There is a saying that underpins this: “People don’t leave a bad company. They leave a bad boss”.

And that can be very true.

If someone is placed in a Managerial position without due consideration for the attributes that are required, and, ultimately, they struggle, it’s not just that one employee at risk. It’s their entire team.

So, before you automatically place your best people in to Managerial positions, take time to consider what the ups and downs of this decision could be. Because repairing a team that is damaged by a bad boss is a whole lot more difficult than finding a different way to keep your star employee motivated in the first place.