As managers, one of the jobs that our company expects us to perform is to use our manager skills to find the next generation of managers that will lead the company after we are gone. What this means for us is that we are responsible for taking a look at our team and identifying the team members that we believe would make good leaders. This, of course, then brings up the question of just exactly what makes someone a good leader. Managers need to know this so that they can make the right staffing selections.
Good Leaders Know How To Be Patient
What a manager has to do is to take the time to use our manager training to observe how a team member reacts in a variety of different situations. What we should be looking for is if they react to an event with explosive anger or passive-aggressiveness. If they do then they are being impulsive, shortsighted, and usually not giving much thought to what they are doing. This kind of behavior usually happens when they don’t get something they want, or react to an unresolved issue without taking in all varied views from different angles. As managers we can we see this in their daily interactions with bosses. It clearly shows someone who has not mastered the powerful leadership virtue of patience.
So if we know what potential leaders should not be doing, this brings up the question of just exactly what kind of behavior we should be looking for from the team members that we are considering for future manager positions. The best future leaders respond rather than react to a situation by using patience to their advantage to assess a situation, process, and get perspective. Such team members leverage patience to consider the situation and decide the best approach to handle things. If we can spot this kind of behavior in members of our team, then we may have found someone who could turn into tomorrow’s manager.
Good Leaders Know That They Do Not Have All Of The Answers
I know that I can only speak for myself, but I like to have all of the answers. I feel as though if there is something that I don’t know the answer to, then I could come across to my team as being either soft or weak. It turns out that when we are talking about what makes someone a good leader, nothing could be further from the truth.
This is actually something that a great deal of research has gone into. The result of all of that research has been the conclusion that the team members who are best suited to become humble leaders don’t believe that their success is something that is inevitable. Having the ability to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers allows humble leaders to solicit feedback and encourage team members to take initiative. They are also more apt to celebrate others’ accomplishments before their own. This is the kind of behavior that we need to be looking for from members of our team.
Good Leaders Know How To Remove Obstacles
Managers who are looking for good future leaders among the members of their team need to look for those team members who do everything in their power to remove the things that are holding back other members of the team. This trait is found ingrained in leaders with compassion. It can be too easy for a manager to dismiss it as being too touchy-feely. What we need to realize is that compassion has been extensively documented and verified as a leadership force of nature.
Managers need to understand that compassion is a more objective form of empathy. Researchers define it as being “walking a mile in another person’s shoes.” In other words, a compassionate reaction in a leader is to put himself or herself in the team member’s shoes and do everything in his power to alleviate what is blocking or holding back that team member. This is a form of team building. A different way of looking at this is that this idea of seeing things clearly through your team member’s perspective can be invaluable when it comes to meeting their needs, coaching for performance, and working through challenging emotional situations.
What All Of This Means For You
As though managers didn’t already have enough on our plates, it turns out that our companies have something else that they want us to be working on. It is our job to take a careful look at our teams and identify who may be a good candidate to become a future leader at our company. This is going to require us to carefully evaluate each member of our team and look for the traits and characteristics that make someone have manager potential.
Good leaders have the ability to be patient. They don’t fly off the handle when they are confronted with difficult situations. Instead, they take the time to fully understand a situation before responding to it. Good leaders understand that they may not have all of the answers that they need to make a good decision. Knowing this they can rely on the members of their team to help them out. Good leaders take the time to identify obstacles that are holding back members of their team. They then step in and remove those obstacles so that the team member can be more successful.
What managers need to be looking for are team members who are able to think about more than just themselves. What we need to be on the outlook for are team members who realize that they are part of a team and who are willing to take time out of their day to help other members of the team be successful. Ultimately this is what the best managers spend their time doing. If we can identify these team members, then we have probably found the real leaders that our company will need for tomorrow.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: Once a manager has found a team member who is a good leader, what should our next steps be?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life for all of us. We used to go into the office and use our manager skills to do manager stuff. Now we find ourselves staying at home and participating in countless Zoom meetings. In the beginning it was all new and different and we were able to focus and get work done. However, things have changed over time and now it’s getting harder and harder to stay focused on our work. What’s a manager to do?