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Leadership Development – Are You Starting Too Late

How to know if someone is ready to be a manager

Perhaps it’s an art rather than a science but the ability to spot when someone is ready to manage people seems to be something that many organisations struggle with. Firstly there is the expectation that if someone is in the organisation long enough we must promote them, as they become more senior very often they gain people management responsibilities. Sadly, however a person’s ability to do their job is a very poor indicator of their ability to lead and manage people. With little flexibility on the corporate ladder, we end up forced into promoting people into management roles, not because we feel they would make a great leader but rather because that is the next step in their ‘career path’. The costs of poor managers to an organisation are huge and consequently we face heavy penalties both culturally and financially as a result.

Research by Zenger and Folkman showed the average age of participants on leadership training is 42 years, on average 10 years after that person first became a leader! See a summary of their research here. They put forward strong reasons on why leadership development should commence early.

Kate Tuck Hourglass

It is important that people can advance in their career independently to gaining line management responsibility, if that simply isn’t their strength. Don’t keep making the same mistake with succession and talent development, read this HBR article to learn how to spot the management and leadership potential in people and what to do.


How to know if someone is ready to be a manager

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