Use Caution When Launching Stars

TOP PERFORMERS MAY NOT BE BEST LEADERS

Why do we continue to do this to ourselves and to our best and  brightest employees?
  • Promote the highest performing sales person to sales manager
  • Appoint the best engineer as Engineering Manager
  • Make the smartest financial analyst the next CFO
  • Advance the best professor to Dean

It’s a common lament that I hear throughout organizations regardless of the core business.  “The people we’ve promoted into leadership roles are not leaders, and the results are directly reflected on our bottom line.”

Every organization depends on individual contributors who are technically competent, high producers. And, while these individual contributors are highly valued, their impact may decline when they are thrust into a leadership role. Before promoting your star performer to a leadership role, consider these questions:

1. Does the shining star employee see the big picture or have you been blinded to their individual
results?

2. Does the stellar performer work for the good of the whole and compromise when necessary?

3. Does the high performer think about others on the team and about how they can support the
growth of others?

4. Do they willingly share ideas, resources, and leads?

5. When receiving feedback does the person take it personally or do they respond professionally?
Do they consider feedback as a helpful gift or as criticism?

6. When solving problems, do they tend to ask more than they tell?

7.  What motivates them?  Individual recognition or team success?

 

The best leaders are not necessarily your top individual performers.  Before you promote the next supervisor and prior to hiring for that vacant manager role, make sure you’re not blinded by your stars. They may shine bright on their own but as the boss they might outshine the team, casting a shadow on everything else.

 

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