Good Workers Don't Always Make for Good Leaders

Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski


I volunteered to do some social service work in Boston for one week. My supervisor (Mike) is the kind of supervisor who is a good worker, but has poor leadership skills. He did not communicate clearly, he did not provide me with needed resources and he regularly insulted me during our conversations. As a leadership trainer, I found this to be a very interesting learning experience and a character building time!


I didn’t have time to give Mike any leadership training, nor was I convinced he was open to learning it from a short-term volunteer. But before I left, I asked him, “What’s with the insults?” He replied, “I didn’t insult you.” I said, “I find it a little hard to believe that you don’t consider it an insult when you do things like take a part out of my hand, pitch it back in the box and tell me to forget it, as you snicker and say, ‘your questions are killing me.’” He explained, “that's not an insult … insults are calling someone stupid or idiot.”


I was unable to learn if his problem is caused by a lack of leadership training or he just isn’t cut out to be in a leadership role. But I do know his poor leadership skills cost his organization a lot in lower productivity, lower morale and increased expenses.


All too often, people are put into leadership positions because of job skills or seniority, rather than leadership skills. When selecting/promoting people for leadership positions, it is crucial that they either have leadership capabilities or learn them before they are put in a position of leadership. Their leadership abilities also should be evaluated at three-month intervals during the first year. Otherwise organizations are at great risk for numerous problems and increased expenses.

Next month's issue will reveal Underlying Causes of Poor Leadership. Future issues will provide you with more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.


You may want to print this and discuss it at your next leadership team meeting.


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Ron Jasniowski specializes in training managers and supervisors at in-house training workshops and at leadership retreats around the country about character-based leadership skills. Managers learn to develop the untapped potential in employees and keep them! Learn more from the services page or con.tact us for more information and a quote.


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