Mindful Growth

Last night we hosted the first meetup in our series, Mindful Growth: Top Talent. Real Insight. No BS. This quarterly series brings together top organizations in Chicago to discuss topics around talent and growth.

In the first session, we covered how to develop leadership and new managers. Speakers included Chris Armsey, Senior Vice President of People at Avant, Jim Conti, People Lead at Dscout, Liz Corcoran, Director of Organizational Development at Sprout Social and Megan Kovach, Director of Talent Acquisition at Project44.

Here are takeaways from just one of the many questions asked:

How do you distinguish who has the potential to be a great manager and help them make that transition?

Jim: The biggest mistake companies make when promoting new mangers is thinking because an employee is a top performer, they’ll be a good manager. Wrong. People may be a top performer, but that doesn’t mean they can help someone else become one. They can do the task really well, but they can’t teach it. There’s a big difference. Management is the responsibility of having other people’s career in your hands. A manager’s role is to train and develop people to become great. Not everyone has that skill. It’s important to identify motivators, because if someone says they want to get into management to make more money, management isn’t the right fit.

Liz: New leaders need constant feedback from everyone they work with. Host roundtables where new and senior managers can get together and discuss candidly how they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing, and their observations of one another.

Chris: We look at their level of EQ; their understanding of what makes themselves tick, and what makes their people tick, what their communication style is. Also, don’t forget that there is an execution component to management. The ability to train others while juggling their own workload. The company’s leadership needs to model what they expect of new managers. If employees approach you wanting to get into management, ask why. Why do they want to lead people? Many think that must be the next step in order to grow their career, which isn’t true.

Megan: Assign several interns to the employee or have them work on training the newbies on the team. It’s a great way for not only for the company to see if the employee would be a good manager, but for the employee to see if they even like it. Many think they want to be a manager, and then realize it’s not what they want when they’re in the role, which is okay! It’s not for everyone.

C-suite executives can’t effectively run the business while simultaneously managing and growing teams. Invest in training and developing new leaders to scale as you grow.

Interested in attending our next meetup? Email kitty@lasallenetwork.com

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