Will Salyards
Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

Will Salyards, PhD Blog

Life, Career, Leadership

Finding Your Best Managers

If you supervise or manage people then you’ve probably encountered the “Star Effect.” The Star Effect occurs when we promote people to greater responsibility based in talent alone. All it takes is for someone to do very well then the thinking goes, “He is our star salesperson, I know he will be a great sales manager.” The results can make for interesting coffee breaks but not so interesting reviews. Is there a better way to find your next manager? My work has shown me that there is. Though I like the sentiment in the expression, “Hire character and train all else,” I question if it is realistic. Generally, I’ve found that managers hire talent hoping to train skill. There’s good reason for it too: hiring into non-management positions for small business tends to be about the immediate need. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking hangs on so that when it comes time to select a manager the inclination is to wait until someone is needed now and star performers, well, they’re hard to ignore.

Certainly, star performers can become great managers but it’s important to know that the qualities that make people great performers differ from those that make them great managers. So what is the solution when your workforce is growing and you need managers? Reach for the stars? Maybe, yet sometimes it’s better to let your stars keep doing what they do best. Instead, consider what I’ve come to call the “c6 Method.”

The c6 Method is about intentionally creating the conditions you need to achieve the promotional ends you desire. Here’s how it works: since your organization is growing in service, output, and people, your desired state is that you will have managers and continue your growth. Your choices are, 1) hire from outside or 2) promote from within. There can be very good reasons for both. Which ever you choose will, at some point, entail some form of promotion. That’s where the c6 Method establishes six conditions.

c6:1. concept Entering the promotion pool begins with "Concept." “Concept” asks if members understand their role, i.e., do they get the concept of what their job is about? Are they asking questions about it, reading in-house and other publications for knowledge and seeking new ways of applying themselves? By establishing that you will recruit the recruited, you set the promotional bar and in a way that considers talent but only as one indicator.

c6:2. charge “Charge” is the second condition for promotion. It inquires whether the person functions fully in the capacity to which they’ve been assigned? It means that members must take charge of themselves, accepting responsibility to learn the thing they’re charged to do. With it, you’re ready to move to the third condition for promotion.

c6:3. chemistry “Chemistry” questions whether the person you would consider promoting fits your organization and more importantly, your methods. Chemistry becomes visible when s/he demonstrates care about what you do by integrating their knowledge, skill, and personality to fit with those who depend upon them. It asks questions about the person's quality of work and their workplace. As the third condition for promotion, “Chemistry,” sets the tone for advancement for all that follows.

c6:4. character The fourth condition for promotion is that the individual exhibit character. “Character” asks if the candidate respects what do you in your business. Do they view being with you as just a job or is it an opportunity to serve and grow? Character and it's corollary, integrity, mean members respect themselves first and from those depths respect you, others, and your shared work.

c6:5. culture “Culture” is the fifth condition for promotion and inquires whether the person gets “why” you do what you do. It goes to the heart of the organization's Mission, inviting members to lean into and take on a common ethos and identity. "Culture" asks how intentional members are in taking on the organization's identity and how well they take up its values.

c6:6. challenge The sixth condition for promotion is to ask if the individual accepts challenge. “Challenge” inquires if the person is growing, if they have encountered limit situations and decided to overcome them. This last condition is the most critical. I argue that you cannot put in position one person over another who refuses to grow.

Using the c6 Method will not guarantee a great manager – there are other variables that must be considered. However, incorporating the c6 Method into the promotion process will create greater clarity and help assure that you have the best pool from which to begin the deeper work of developing management talent.

Want to apply c6 to your business? Are you wanting promotion to greater responsibility but can't seem to get there? Let's talk. Follow the link to book your no-obligation appointment. Just click here.