So, you have a star performer and want to promote them to a leadership role. You want them to lead others, duplicate their style of performance and be successful. That seems a simple sort of promotion. Everyone wins….. or not!!

So, you have a discussion, telling them all about the things they do well and the opportunity for them to grow by leading a new team. Then, you promote them to be leader of a team. Fantastic, a great opportunity for the person to grow, great opportunity for you to think WOW, I’m going to have a number of star performers within the business.

Over the next few months, it seems the person has taken up the challenge with bliss and vigour. They seem to be performing well; seem happy in their new role and getting on with everyone. “Great, you think to yourself”. “At last, I’ve cracked it”.

However, in reality, what often happens is; one month goes by, then another, and all of a sudden, you become disappointed with them. The changes and improvements you are hoping to see are not happening. They are under stress, unsure of what is going on, their mood changes, and all of a sudden, your expectations are not being met. The business and people performance drops.

You have a number of discussions regarding the problems, and lack of performance from both the person and the team. The team seem to be giving them the run around. Your new leader is spending too much time fixing muck ups, or covering for others. They are nowhere near as productive and efficient as they were before taking the role. You tell them if they can’t do the job, or things don’t get better you will have to review the situation. You may have to move them on, or put them back on the floor where they came from. It is just not working out the way they are doing it now. They tell you they are having problems getting people to listen to them and managing their time. You advise they need to harden up and not be so lenient.

After that, everything goes further downhill, to the point they approach you one day and inform, they will be leaving as they have secured another position with your opposition. You try to keep them but in reality, you don’t care if they move on, because they haven’t lived up to your expectation anyway. They could not do the job you asked them to do. All you needed was a good leader to make things happen.

So what has gone so wrong?

There is a simple answer; ‘train them, don’t blame them’.

What went wrong in this instance, like so many others before it was, the reason your star performer was so good prior to promoting them, was due to them doing a role they knew very well. When you promoted them to the leadership role, what was missing were the skills required to be a good leader and lead others to do great things. Without that knowledge, the person was doomed to failure.

In reality, what you have done is promote them to incompetence, and that is not fair. Not fair for the person, not fair for you, not for the business, your customers, or the people that work for you.

So, what do you do to make the difference next time? How do you successfully promote that star performer, so they produce star qualities and star people around them? How do they successfully help you expand your business, providing new opportunities for growth?

Give them the tools to do the job properly. You would not expect a builder to build you a house without the knowledge and tools to do it right. Why would you expect a person in your business to do a good job without the right tools and knowledge?

Here are some of the basic and essential skills every good leader needs in order to do a great job and lead successful teams. Make sure your next leader or promotion includes them.

  • How to manage their time more effectively, making the new role easier to do.
  • How to be an effective leader using your natural talents and personality
  • How to recognise and know what to do to overcome and manage any additional stress
  • Ways to build team trust and a good team environment
  • How to motivate people to get the best from everyone
  • Ways to delegate effectively so you can get things done the right way by others.
  • How to be a good coach and mentor, encouraging people to do things they didn’t think possible.
  • Manage employee performance issues and deliver constructive feedback that will improve their performance.
  • With 5 generations in the workforce, how to get the best from them all.
  • How to speak with confidence on behalf of the company or branch at meetings and presentaions.

And, do it before you give them a leadership role or, at the time of giving a leadership role. This way, within a matter of weeks and certainly a couple of months, they develop the skills required and learn how to apply them.

That is when you see and get the results you are looking for. Then, and only then will you see the people becoming stars in their own right. You will also build better teams with greater commitment and ownership to do great things. It is that simple!

Make your business more successful and train them, don’t blame them’.

Brian is a professional trainer in leadership and customer experience programs with betterment training.

For more information on how to enrol your emerging leaders in a great hands on, leadership program, get in touch today.

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