This is one of the most common questions I get asked by clients. They have staff who were particularly good at the job they were originally employed to do so they have taken a decision and promoted them into management positions. Some people cope quite well at this stage by using their existing knowledge and skills to mentor and support their colleagues, but others struggle because they have not had the necessary training or development to understand how to manage other people. However, the problems really start when someone is then put into a position in an organisation where they are expected to provide leadership to others.
Why? Because leadership requires a totally different set of skills and behaviours! Now I don’t intend to re-open the debate about the difference between leadership and management. But I am going to ask a simple question … what is leadership? Unless you can truly define what leadership means to you and your organisation then why would you even consider squandering vast amounts of money on so called leadership development programmes? Yet you would be surprised how many companies do just that.
In 2012, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently published a research report, “Perspectives on leadership in 2012: Implications for HR” in which four key functions of HR were identified with regard to leadership. The first of these was “defining what good leadership means” by laying down common expectations, developing a framework of core competencies and behaviours, and thereby using a common language to describe leadership in the unique context of each individual organisation. We are now halfway through 2016 and it is frightening that so many organisations still cannot define what good leadership means to them!
So, before you can answer the question – how do you turn a manager into a leader? I need to ask you the question – how do you define leadership in your organisation?