They were a year into their first leadership role and the feedback was You do not care. How could that be – because I do! was the defense. The proof to the contrary was two valuable people leaving the organization and the final expert doing everything they could to help the leader fail.
A universal truth of most people that write about competencies or personality profiles is the simple fact that if we have a strength (example: getting work done) and if that strength is overused, it becomes a weakness (example: so task focused that people do not care). This is and should be one of the number one focuses of developing leaders, and if you look at a leadership program that is laced with classroom time and lite on self awareness/feedback – run.
If you need a second opinion and are not afraid of a 200+ page business book, read Flip Side by Flip Flippen. The Flip Side: Break Free of the Behaviors That Hold You Back
If you are a coach, and you want this conversation in the voice of a coach – read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
If I had you at hello with this conversation and you want to jump in and try to avoid the mistake again, here is a simple way to start that conversation and get to an action plan:
- What are the reasons you got this leadership role? (list as many as you would like, pick the top 3) *as their leader, feel free to correct their list after they have created it.
- How are these reasons (actually they are strengths) going to help you in this leadership role?
- How are these same reasons going to get in the way of your success? What actions do you need to take to be successful and how can I best support you in this transition? (fyi . . if they don’t ask for help, so at a minimum meet with them weekly for the first 3 months)
The other solution is to speed past this conversation, let the situation play itself out, and try and fix it later.
fyi – Michael Watkins found that 40% of outside leaders hired into an organization fail in the first 18 months. Brad Smart contends that a bad leadership hire takes 18 months to fire and the cost is 14.6x their base compensation.
Hmmm . . . .