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Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Dangers that Wrong Leaders Bring

Think about it... If you are a manager in charge of hiring for your organization, you probably go through all sorts of trouble to see to it that you hire the right person for the job. You probably make them go through rigorous screening like testing, a number of interviews and background checks just to make sure there are no stones left unturned so to speak before hiring one. The employee starts work, does well, and you saw potentials. You offered him or her a lead position with all the responsibilities and perks that go with it and naturally, the person accepts.

Wait a minute, something is wrong here. You went through all those trouble to hire a new rank and file employee and then just appoint this person to a higher position without checking if this person really fits the bill? And that is probably not even the worst of it. You trained this fellow how to be a good rank and file employee and yet not train him to become a good leader.

I've seen this scenario repeated in many companies over and over like a broken record often singing a song of tragedy. The tragedy of good workers turn bad leaders who are not only able to deliver the results expected but botch the job of bringing some semblance of order and logic at work.

I'm sure that there are some success stories of unscreened and untrained leaders who made a helluva job leading their teams or departments, but I wonder how many are out there succeeding minus the right intervention versus the ones creating major havocs in the lives of their employees not to mention their companies. I wonder how many leaders out there do not understand the concepts of P.L.O.C. I wonder how many of them do not understand their roles in developing employees' capability to perform. I wonder too if these leaders understand that leading requires bringing the team if not the whole organization to a whole new level of performance and that their true measure as leaders is not how well employees follow their instructions but how well they are able to develop their members to become great team players that do not only bring in good result but take initiative to share in steering the team towards the right direction.

I can go on and on about what companies who fail to choose their leaders well and prepare them for the big job of leadership ahead are missing but my eyes are getting heavy. Let me just tell you this before I wrap this article up. You probably do not realize what you are missing but you are missing a lot. If you have a manager or leader who is only capable of doing half of his job as with competence, you are losing half of his pay to incompetence. Calculate the annual cost and compare the cost of doing the right thing in picking and training your leaders before giving them the responsibility. I tell you, the gap is staggering!!! A lot of people however are unable to figure this out.

Lastly, let me list a couple of things that we should ideally do with our management candidates:

  • Come up with a good screening program that profiles candidates with a benchmark in order to make sure that we re getting what we are looking for in a manager or supervisor

  • Come up with a management development program that covers the basics and the other more advanced knowledge and skills required for effective leadership.

  • Continually be on the look out for possible development opportunities. If there is anything that leaders should not stop doing, it's learning.

'Till next post!

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