This is an industry problem and an industry opportunity.

By Steve Moran

My good friend Denise Boudreau-Scott recently authored an article that we published on this site titled “Six Tips for Tackling the Staffing Crisis Head On!” Her point #3 really resonated with me. It is this:

Hire the Right Managers

I am embarrassed that I have not spent enough time talking about this. Over the last couple of years, I have heard more stories than I can count about great leaders who have been destroyed by their managers. These are people who have made career moves, in some cases moving states away, thinking they were going from a good position to a better one where there was more growth opportunity only to discover they had gone from purgatory to hell.  

[Okay . . . purgatory is likely too strong a term for the position they left, but it reads so well . . . .]

What is perhaps even more painful is that the managers who made these people’s lives a living hell are not bad people. They are just not competent in the roles they are filling. In some cases, they probably are not suited for the job. In other cases, those above them may be beating on them so badly that the misery just flows downhill.  

In most cases, they just don’t realize there is another way . . . a better way.

Hire Right or Train Right

I wish I could tell you I believed there are enough really brilliant insightful managers floating around our industry that you could just pick them off the shelf and put them to work creating amazing cultures. There is no way this is true.

However, there are enough people out there who want to be better, who would love to be better if they were given the opportunity and inspiration to grow and learn.  

The OTJ Training Problem

Most of us who are leaders learned from those who led us. If we were really lucky one of two things happened.

  1. We worked for great leaders and followed their examples. This is very rare, in part because leadership styles have changed so much in the last 20-30 years. What motivates people is different today than it used to be. We know a lot more about what it takes to get peak performance from team members that we just didn’t know before.

  1. We figured out on our own that the “old ways” were only old and not at all good. We went to work taking classes, reading books, thinking about leadership, watching TED talks and doing things that broke the old patterns.

    We also experimented and found what worked and what did not.

This is an industry problem and an industry opportunity. How are you turning your managers into leaders?