tightrope

Suede-soled Pumps and a Balance Bar

Scrolling through LinkedIn, telling myself that I am keeping up with today’s world but in reality, procrastinating about writing my next informative and insightful (?) Training Success Tip, I realise that there is a lot of ’noise’ on there about leadership training.

For many organisations, moving someone up from trusted, experienced front-liner to a position in charge of your most complex resource – your staff – seems of little consequence.

Phrases like …

“They’ll soon get the hang of it”

“They’re great at xxx production-line occupation, so they’ll be a super role-model”

“Shall we give old Bertie a go at the sharp end; he’s been here for 44 years, must have picked up something?”

… appear to be adequate substitution for a considered promotion process and a guided transition into what can be a very different picture when seen from the helm instead of the engine room.

Would it seem right that because someone produces quality clothes-lines, they can seamlessly transfer to stringing one up between two high-rise buildings and wire-walking across it – without so much as a pair of suede-soled pumps or a balance bar to assist?  Same material, just a different application!

Yet figuratively, organisations expect their loyal grafters to do just that, negotiating the hand-brake turn to taking the first step on the Leadership Pipeline without the support, development and training needed. Why?

Why would you put someone in charge of a quarter of a mill of your infrastructure (10 staff earning £25K each) when you would think twice about letting that same someone press Button A on a £2K piece of technical kit without having them sign it off in triplicate?  Hard skills always triumph over soft skills when it comes to training!

I realise that in my passion to get my point across I have mixed more metaphors here than Macbeth’s witches brewing their potions.  Give me a minute and I’m sure I’ll manage to insert ‘eye of newt’ into a leadership anecdote because I’m so keen to emphasise how vital first level leadership training is.

So if you want to ensure that your virgin leader has the best possible start to this fresh phase in their career, please give them the equivalent of suede-soles and balance bar by:

  • Investing in some good quality management training. It may seem expensive at the time but will pay dividends in saving costly HR problems down the line
  • Recognising how difficult it is to transition into management when you have only ever been ‘one of the lads’. Therefore, it is not only new skills that your virgin leader needs but a new mindset too
  • Demonstrating your support by allowing them to put their learning into place gradually and if possible, giving them a dedicated Mentor for the first few months; someone they can trust to give them sound advice

Then as they rise up the hierarchy, you can be sure that you have future-proofed your business as they become Mentors for the next generation.

Your Reaction: If you want to give your virgin leaders the best possible start in their new role, then contact us for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team.

 

 

Training Success Tips

Stratus Associates