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One of the most rewarding areas in my field of expertise is working with and helping many mid- senior level people- managers develop the critical people skills needed to effectively manage teams of people as their organisations grow bigger and faster.
This article makes and points very clearly to the well- known management concept called The Peter Principle: Selecting a person for a position in a company by basing it on their performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role.
Put more simply: It often happens in most fast growing companies that when teams start getting bigger in size, the most technically advanced and capable person in that team is chosen to become 'Team manager' and is expected all of a sudden to miraculously possess all the people related skills needed to effectively manage that team.
Going further into the principle, without the necessary support, coaching and development needed to succeed in this type of role, "managers then rise to the level of their incompetence", or more simply put, they are no longer able to perform effectively. So in essence: A highly skilled software engineer may be a poor manager because they might not have the interpersonal skills necessary to lead a team.
This then has a number of negative effects not only on company performance, but also on team morale, job satisfaction and employee engagement. Not a fun thing to grapple with when you're growing a successful business!
But the good news is, this can be easily prevented and remedied, provided that developing and growing talent is high on your priority list and a key strategic driver on a business's road to success.
“In order to lead people effectively, leaders need to have a variety of skills – but while technical skills are critical in organisations, they do not always go hand-in-hand with people skills. Organisations need to respond to this mismatch by making targeted investment in their leadership’s people management capability. A strong talent pipeline, which promotes both strong people management and technical excellence, will support people to reach their full potential at work and is essential for a sustainable and high-performing business.”