South-Western - Management  
Managing Skills Should Trump Technical Savvy When Companies Make Promotion Decisions
Topic Leadership
Key Words Supervising, promotion, leadership
InfoTrac Reference A130130692
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News Story

Developing employees to step into positions of increased responsibility is a critical issue for companies. Often a new supervisor is promoted because of his demonstrated expertise at a task. The problem arises when he does not recognize he no longer gets paid to do the work, but to ensure that the work gets done. Poor morale, lack of training for subordinates, burnout for the new leader, inefficient use of resources, and turnover stem from the failure to develop new leaders.

In leadership, it is technical competence, not expertise, that matters. New managers need the influence and leadership skills necessary to succeed in a management position. However, because training can be time consuming and expensive, many companies simply skip this step. To make leadership training part of the company culture, managers throughout the chain of command must be involved.

Another possible way for companies to fill supervisory positions is to hire people from outside the industry who already have the necessary leadership skills and can become technically proficient in the company's business.

In the end, a supervisor must learn that his goal is to help people get better at what they do, not to do it better than they do.

Questions
1.

Explain the transition a new supervisor must make to become an effective leader.

2.

Explain the difference between supervisory leadership, and strategic leadership. Which type of leadership was the topic of this article?

3.

What traits would be most important for a new supervisor to possess?

Source "Managing Skills Should Trump Technical Savvy When Companies Make Promotion Decisions," Nation's Restaurant News, March 7, 2005, p. 32.
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