WHY THE MOST PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS MAKE THE BEST MANAGERS
When a company needs a supervisor for a team, senior leaders often anoint the team’s most productive performer. Some of these stars succeed in their new role as manager; many others do not.
Why, then, do some fail while others succeed?
According to the research made by Michael Mankins ( partner in Bain & Company’s San Francisco office) the 7️⃣ behaviors of the most productive people are setting stretch goals, showing consistency, having knowledge and technical expertise, driving for results, anticipating and solving problems, taking initiative, and being collaborative.
These competencies all leverage individual skills and individual effectiveness. They are valued skills and make people more productive, but all except for the last one (collaboration) focus on the individual rather than the team.
So the skills that are identified as making a great manager are much more other-focused: ☑️Being open to feedback and personal change. A key skill for new managers is the willingness to ask for and act on feedback from others. They seek to be more self-aware. They are on a continuing quest to get better. ☑️Supporting others’ development. All leaders, whether they are supervisors or managers, need to be concerned about developing others. While individual contributors can focus on their own development, great managers take pride in helping others learn. They know how to give actionable feedback. ☑️Being open to innovation. The person who focuses on productivity often has found a workable process, and they strive to make that process work as efficiently as possible. Leaders, on the other hand, recognize that innovation often isn’t linear or particularly efficient. An inspiring leader is open to creativity and understands that it can take time. ☑️Communicating well. One of the most critical skills for managers is their ability to present their ideas to others in an interesting and engaging manner. A certain amount of communication is required for the highly productive individual contributor, but communication is not the central core of their effectiveness. ☑️Having good interpersonal skills. This is a requirement for effective managers. Emotional intelligence has become seen as perhaps the essential leadership skill. Although highly productive individuals are not loners, hermits, or curmudgeons, being highly productive often does not require a person to have excellent interpersonal skills. ☑️Supporting organizational changes. While highly productive individuals can be relatively self-centered, leaders and managers must place the organization above themselves.
This helps explain why some highly productive people go on to be very successful managers and why others don’t. While the best leaders are highly productive people, the most highly productive people don’t always gravitate toward leading others.