Project Management

How to Develop Your Managers into Leaders

There seems to be an odd stigma when it comes to being called a manager as opposed to a leader. The truth is both skill sets have their place. It takes time and effort to help mold an individual into someone who is at the front of the charge. In a post at his website, Art Petty explains how we can focus on developing managers as solid leaders from the very beginning.

Leadership Development

The first step to creating good leaders is to help them understand which skills are appropriate for which situations. Sometimes they will have to exercise encouragement or present a vision–leadership skills. Other times, they will just have to enforce the rules–management skills. Management and leadership work together to push the team to succeed.

What can complicate leader development is when talent is given a managerial position without any prior training. Conversely, people who have forced their way into higher-ranking positions may try to act on how they think leaders act instead of staying true to the business’s message or the staff. This requires some rethinking on how we train leaders moving forward.

Petty goes about alleviating this through something he calls “Angela’s Question”:

A simple question I teach my management program participants to ask their team members is what I call Angela’s Question. … The question is: “At the end of our time working together, what will you say that I did?”

It’s a question that bears repeating when delivered. It also requires some deliberation on the part of the receiver. The responses, however, define the manager’s role as leader. No one will answer that question with issues of efficiency or productivity. All will offer something to the effect of teach, coach, challenge, treat fairly, hold accountable, or support.

When tackling the next generation of talent, Petty says that maintaining regular contact and feedback are pivotal to  a manager’s success in becoming a leader for your business.

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