Imagine being thrown into a job without any knowledge, training, or experience. That’s the position many managers find themselves in after being promoted or hired for their technical expertise, only to be put in charge of a team. Frustration abounds because leading a team requires a different set of skills than merely technical job know-how.
Typically, new leaders rarely get the training they sorely need to manage their people. Lack of people skills is the number one stumbling block to a leader’s success. All the technical and organizational expertise in the world can’t make up for not being able to work with people effectively.
This is where you have a choice of paths: the Random Walk or the Purposeful Walk.
When we coach future leaders, we encourage them to take the purposeful walk. We use the TOP (Technical, Organizational, People) model to illustrate this principle. Picture your company as a round stool. If the stool has only two legs – Technical and Organizational Skills – it will fall over. The third leg – People Skills – is critical to make the stool stable. Let’s define these skills:
Technical Skills: means you have product and service know-how
Organizational Skills: means you can complete projects on time and on budget, with the highest quality
People Skills: means you can make things happen by influencing and motivating others
These three skills together propel a leader to be successful. Generally, people are promoted because they are intelligent, hardworking, experienced, and business-savvy. Rarely are people skills taken into consideration. Making matters worse, we often find a lack of leadership training. Just as it’s difficult to gain technical knowledge and organizational expertise without training, it’s even more difficult to gain people skills without training. Successfully navigating the challenges of team dynamics is much more difficult without focused training.
The good news is one is not necessarily born with leadership skills; leadership skills can be learned by almost anyone who is committed to their own personal development. At Makarios Consulting, we are dedicated to developing leaders in your organization through training and coaching. You may wish to read more about our highly regarded program, The Complete Leader by clicking here.