As an entrepreneur developing the right people in the right roles is key to business success. Do you have a proper strategy in place to identify the right managers to drive your business forward?
The harsh truth is that people leave managers, not companies, and your promotion practices need to ensure that unfit managers are not promoted ahead of those who are better suited to the role.
As you are developing your business it is easy to get consumed by servicing customers and driving sales, yet your people strategy is without a doubt one of the most important areas that will ensure the longevity of your business.
The domino effect
Many entrepreneurs have informal or out-dated HR strategies which can be disastrous for the business if the wrong leaders are in place. One example is where high performing specialists are identified over individuals that have general management skills. In our experience it is not the best performing individuals who will necessarily be the top performing leaders.
So you promote a specialist as the head of a department or team, yet they do not have the skills to effectively lead and manage people. Your best specialist is then in a role where they do not get to use the skills they were appointed for in the first place, and is placed in a role where he or she doesn’t have the leadership skills to perform, let alone thrive.
We all know a bad leader can destroy a well performing team, once the first domino has fallen it can seriously impact your business.
Your policies and promotional structures have to change to provide career paths that are attractive to both specialists and general managers. Reward a specialist by promoting him/her to do more tasks that he/she is good at, without adding people management responsibilities.
Identify what makes a good leader in your business
Managers need to be selected based on the specific requirements of specific leadership roles. Leadership is often seen as something that is fluid and vague, which means you will get vague results through your hiring, promotion or development structures.
There are very specific definitions of what makes a good leader and what doesn’t, and there is a correct and incorrect way to measure leadership skills. These have been extensively researched, yet companies often defer to the vague definitions.
In addition, Entrepreneurs need to allocate real factors to what makes a good leader. There are some components of leadership that are generic across companies and are good qualities and skills to have, for example, listening, respecting other’s opinions, etc. But there are also elements of leadership that are moderated through the culture that you are in, the environment and the profiles of the people that you work with.
Culture is the new rule-of-thumb
Culture is key. No matter the industry all companies are unique because they are all made up of individuals who share a like-mind and work cohesively to achieve goals for the business and their own careers. You need to bring in the right manager for your culture where he/she will thrive, bringing drive and creativity to their role.
If the fit is right, that person will grow to be a charismatic member of your leadership team. If it’s the wrong fit for your company’s culture the relationship won’t last long and could even take a bad turn for all involved.
While these examples are the most common misconceptions businesses trip over, the real challenge is for the existing leaders within your business to realise that all areas of your business need to grow evenly and instep with each other, and that includes how you manage your most valuable asset, your people.