“You’re being promoted.” It’s a simple term underpinned by a lot of excitement, recognition, and pride. Most people are promoted to leadership positions because they are exceptional at what they do. Technical experts are no exception, but now, they’re being asked to succeed in a new way – using people skills to influence and motivate others, managing their impact and relationships organization-wide. Promoted technical experts are expected to learn to succeed through others, letting go of their “go-to” status to allow others to grow and develop under them.

As you can imagine, it takes time to navigate new territory and find one’s feet.

While most of us have people skills, we often neglect these in favor meeting the demands of our new position. However, it’s critical for new leaders to use their untapped people skills to shape their growing reputation as a leader in the organization. This will be the benchmark for performance assessments, after all, yet most leaders lack support in the form of coaching and leadership development. That’s why behavioral and leadership skill development is essential.

Such training is often reserved for senior employees, leaving new leaders to find their own way through the dark. It makes sense that the latter are at a higher risk of job dissatisfaction, poor performance, and even burnout. The new leader’s reputation can be ruined, along with their confidence and ability to empower others now and in the future. The impact often echoes through to other team members who too are at risk of disengagement and underperformance.

Ultimately, it all disturbs your bottom line, with the dollar impact of poor performance and costly staff replacements. More often than not, companies turn to management and leadership training too late, in response to underperformance. To solve this, powers-that-be should support transitions immediately, before new leaders even step into their new role. Can you imagine what this could mean for your organization and its core objectives? Not only will you be better positioned to achieve your goals, but your leaders will have all they need to tackle new roles with confidence – an undertaking which requires a set of key skills:

  • Leadership skills – leading and inspiring teams and stakeholders
  • Relationship-building, strong communication, and courageous conversations
  • Conflict management
  • Negotiation, delegation, and listening skills
  • Emotional intelligence: Knowing how to nurture and bring out the best in everyone
  • Asking the right questions
  • Providing informed answers
  • Understanding differences
  • Examining situations from multiple perspectives
  • Executive presence
  • Giving and receiving feedback with confidence and kindness

Employee support and leadership/behavioral training isn’t a cost. It’s an investment into the future of your organization, fostering deeper engagement, better performance, and stronger lines of communication – all of which reflect back to your bottom line. Completing the circle means investing in your leaders before they step into their new roles.

We shouldn’t expect them to find their own feet in daunting unknown territory. Instead, we should provide support pre, during, and post transition, for the benefit of the leader, the team, and the business. Can you envision your organization in 5 years, with full investment in your leaders? Is the alternative worth the risk?