If you’ve just spent time trying to convince people who work for you to accept a promotion, you’ve probable got a few questions in mind. Questions like, “Why won’t these guys take a chance?” or “Where is their drive, their motivation, their commitment?”
These may be the wrong questions. The real question should be “Why the heck can’t I sell a promotion?” This really translates into “What the heck is wrong with our organizational culture?”
As Wally Bock pointed out in his recent post, supervisory roles are in crisis. Wally’s point is well founded; companies have been promoting people right up to their level of incompetence for years. The other point he makes that resounds with me is that the younger folks amongst us are less likely to want to take on these roles if the examples they’ve seen either aren’t doing a good job or are receiving the corporate head smack at every turn. After all, why would you want to replace the person you’ve just spent the last two years feeling sorry for?
If you are a leader, have a look around at the supervisor’s working for you. Have you created an environment that attracts good people? Have you created an environment that makes people aspire to the jobs you’re offering?
Food for thought.