People are promoted into managerial and leadership positions, and then it is expected they learn how to do that on their own. That rarely happens.
The skills you need to manage or lead a team are very different from the skills you need to successfully execute a project or design a flawless service or build a company from scratch. If managers and leaders are not put in front of this very basic fact, they will fall back to what got them promoted in the first place (in most cases, execution and some sort of compliance) and their teams will fail.
A new survey by the Boston Consulting Group about the challenges of managers stresses two facts that is worth considering before you put the autopilot on and promote the next best performer.
First, not everyone wants to be a manager. We often assume that is the natural career path everybody aims for, yet the survey points at only 9% of non managers actually wanting to become one (in Western countries). If you have a great performer, it is more likely they want to either stay in their current position or become a subject matter expert. Of course, this means you’ll have to ask them, and then find ways to reward them other than the title. There are many.
Second, just one-third of managers receive career coaching. It’s a very delicate transition, one that often creates challenges even out of the office. If supporting the manager through it is not a priority for the company, it won’t be one for the manager either.