Leadership for Life – Pipeline

By on June 2, 2014
Leadership for Life - Pipeline

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

In most industries, non-management professionals, such as technicians and engineers, are usually well-skilled technically, but come up short interpersonally. In my consultation practice for Workforce Solutions Group, I frequently hear managers and executives lament that they have good people “on the line,” but have problems figuring out who to promote to supervisory and management positions. When this occurs, the result is often the hiring of someone from outside the organization.

Great leaders know that organizations thrive when their front-line employees are confident in their opportunities for advancement within the organization. If people think that their jobs are just dead-ends, they lose their motivation and become less engaged. A well-oiled leadership pipeline is as necessary for supervisory level and mid management positions as for high level executive positions.

That’s why it surprises me when I discover that many organizations have no programs for training front-line employees to prepare them for supervisory jobs. Time and again, I hear about experienced front-line employees who get promoted to supervisory positions, only to crash and burn. The fact is that the skills required for management and supervision are different from those required for front-line success.

It’s especially tough for newly-fledged supervisors who have to oversee the work of those who were former coworkers. Becoming a leader of former peers can be a tough experience, especially when any of the peers have felt passed over for promotional opportunities. The risks of burnout for new supervisors who haven’t had any supervisory or management training are very high.

In any case, successful leadership in any environment requires plenty of those “soft” skills that the technical experts seem to be missing. Being able to communicate clearly, give feedback when necessary, motivate others, resolve conflicts, run meetings – these are all skills that don’t usually get taught in engineering school or any other technical professional education.

It just so happens that the Workforce Solutions Group can help train your high potential front-line employees to be ready to assume supervisory and other leadership positions. Just give us a call at 314-539-5329, or send email to bschapiro@stlcc.edu.

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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