To promote or not to promote

02 juni 2021

Let’s be frank for a moment: Some people shouldn’t be promoted into a management position.

Not because they don’t deserve it.
Not because they didn’t work hard enough to be rewarded.

Some people shouldn’t be turned into managers because being put into a position of leadership makes them (and everyone around them) miserable.

That’s because even though someone might be really good at what they do (Sales! Product development!), this by no means implies that they are capable — or even willing — to be a mentor or leader to others.

And yet, so many of us get lured into thinking that the only way to get validated for our work is by getting that promotion. Our corporate structure tells us that the only way to feel important on the job, is by “moving up the ladder”.

If you can upgrade your cubicle to a corner office, you’ll have power.
If you become a manager, you’ll gain influence.
If you snatch that promotion, you’ll get to take a bigger pay check home to your family.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know what they’re getting themselves into when they move into a leadership position. And many times, they try to replicate their unique talents across the team (which rarely succeeds) and get frustrated.

Some end up loathing their new position and burn out.
Some stick around and suffer.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Organizations could and should become more deliberate about helping their employees understand what the life of a leader is really like. When considering someone for a promotion into a management position, an organization should first reflect on whether that person:

  1. understands the requirements of the position
  2. actually wants to take on the new role
  3. has the capacity to do the job well

These questions seem simple enough, but when all parties go in with a genuine understanding of the mindset shift needed to transition from a great on-the-job performer to a leader of people, so much trouble can be avoided in the future.

Now if you’re not sure whether your employee is ready to “move on up” or if you’d like to explore different ways of rewarding a great performer on your team, get in touch.

At Signum, we help organizations, just like yours, get it right the first time around!

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