It’s amazing the number of business professionals I come across who occupy management roles and don’t enjoy the responsibility for people that comes with it. I hear comments like ‘they take me away from my day job’ or ‘I have to sit down with them for 2 hours just to do their appraisal’.
The problem arises because we manage a process (typically why people are promoted – because they’re ‘technically’ good at implementation) and we lead people (the only way to implement processes consistently across the organisation).
So, employees are promoted for their technical ability to do a job that requires an altogether different skill set; that being leadership. Given that we all favour work we are good at, the response is to continue doing what we know and to ignore those aspects of the role we’re uncomfortable with.
The result is a disgruntled workforce, lacking direction and support, along with unhappy managers who are now wondering if the promotion was worth the trouble.
Regardless of your position in the company, recognise the important part played by your colleagues; they are impacting on your ability to do great work.
If you find yourself in a leadership role, whether by luck (good or bad – you decide) or by judgement, you must develop an interest in people. Not only is it a characteristic that all great leaders share, it’s what employees look for in leaders (formal or otherwise) for them to perform at their best. Showing that you care is a win-win: for you, for the people you work with and for the business all round.