Promoting young managers on the basis of their talent can be immature strategy cause but truth is Most executives seek out smart, aggressive people, paying more attention to their accomplishments than to their emotional maturity.
Promoting too quickly prevents them from developing key emotional competencies–such as value of building relationships with his peers, cross-functional challenges of developing this particular product regulating negative emotions during crises, and building support for change–skills that come only with time and experience. Worse, many “young and clueless” managers lack patience, openness, and empathy–qualities more vital than raw intellect at top leadership levels, where business issues grow more complex and stakes are notoriously high.
Aggressive and insensitive, fast-tracked managers may pooh-pooh relationships with peers and subordinates–not realizing they need those connections to conquer problems. Issues become crises, defeating managers. Your company, customers, and employees all pay the price.
Delaying promotions so that managers can mature emotionally. This isn’t easy. You must balance confrontation and support, patience and urgency–and risk losing your finest. But premature promoting carries far greater risks.
These problems can be tackled by following methods:
1. Deepen 360-degree feedback. Provide broad and deep feedback to help managers see themselves as others do–a must for building self-awareness. Give them verbatim written responses to open-ended questions from a wide variety of peers and subordinates, not just you. Managers may discount your views as biased or uninformed. Allow time for reflection and follow-up conversations.
2. Interrupt the ascent. To help managers learn to move others’ hearts and minds, give them special assignments outside their typical career path. They’ll have to master negotiation and influence skills, rather than relying on rank for authority.
3. Act on your commitment. If you’ve warned managers that promotion depends on emotional competencies, follow through. These competencies are not optional.
4. Institutionalize personal development. Make it clear that success at your company hinges on emotional competence.
5. Cultivate informal networks. Encourage managers to forge mentoring relationships outside the usual hierarchy. They’ll encounter diverse leadership styles and viewpoints, gain opportunities for reflection–and mature emotionally.
This article “Young and the clueless” envisage to highlight the challenges faced by the group leaders today. It states that most leaders today promote aggressive people by paying more attention to their accomplishments than to their emotional maturity. Thereby, ineffective leaders emerge in the process. In the past ten decades, there have been dozens of managers who have fallen victim to a harmful mix of their own ambitions and their bosses’ willingness to overlook a lack of people skills. I agree with this point. We see a trend where we see only successful employees being promoted. People fail to realise that personal success in no way guarantees the skills of a leader. It is a necessary condition but it’s not the only skill required. A true leader needs to not only have immense knowledge about his work, domain and sector but he/she also needs to have the necessary skills to motivate, lead and guide his team to success. For example, we have seen Sachin Tendulkar, he is a brilliant batsman but even he succumbed to the pressures of being a team Captain. The article also backs this up by research. According to the article, research states that the higher a manager rises in the ranks, the more important soft leadership skills are to his success. The article looks at five strategies for boosting emotional competencies and redirecting managers who need to work on their soft skills:
1. Deepen 360-degree feedback
States that we should interview a wide variety of the manager’s peers and sub-ordinates and let him read their responses
2. Interrupt the ascent
Instead of promoting the inexperienced manager, help him build his soft skills by assigning him cross-functional assignments where he can’t rely on rank to influence people
3. Act on your commitment
Hold the manager accountable for his interpersonal skills. Take a tough stance like demoting him or deny promotion but with the promise that changed behaviours will be ultimately awarded
4. Institutionalize Personal Development
Make emotional competence a performance measure. Institute formal training and development programmes.
5. Cultivate Informal Networks
Encourage the manager to develop informal learning partnerships with peers and mentors in order to expose him to different leadership styles and perspectives.
While in theory the article does seem to be very effective, there are many limitations that senior leaders face today. It is not easy to defer the promotion of a successful candidate. Due to increased competition among firms, a successful employee can easily leave the firm for another firm. This will lead to loss of a valuable employee as well as increased recruitment costs. Apart from that, the first recommendation of using 360-degree feedback seems like a reasonable and effective tool which will be easier to implement. Even the recommendation of institutionalizing personal development seems to be a reasonable idea. However, it will lead to increase in operational costs for the company. In today’s world it also depends on which industry or sector the company is working in that determines the kind of cash flows that it generates. Not every firm will have the resources to implement such measures. To summarize, the challenges highlighted in the article are apt and the recommendations are well backed with facts. However, the article would be more effective if it acknowledges the limitations in implementing these recommendations and gives a few more to suggestions to overcome them.