It's ironic the reward for being good at your job is a promotion to a job you haven't done before (and most often requires a completely different skill set).
Organizations are promoting people into management positions frequently. Most people are promoted without any formal leadership training, and instead, rest solely on the fact they were great in their previous role. Yet, research done by the CEB shows that 60 percent of new managers in the United States fail every single year. What gives?
My company, LearnLoft, has spent years studying what the best and most effective leaders do and codified it to prevent new managers from becoming a part of that ugly CEB statistics.
While many still want to throw all the blame on their organizations for lack of professional development, there are three intrinsic reasons why people fail when they're promoted into positions of leadership. Luckily, if you have the self-awareness to notice these traits in yourself, you also have the ability to change your thinking -- if you're committed to your role as a leader.
1. They only care about money.
Money is a powerful thing because you need it to provide for yourself plus it can also buy cool things and create incredible experiences. Money by itself is not a bad thing. The problem arises when money becomes the only thing.
George Lorimer said it well, "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."
Becoming a leader is filled with skills that require things money can't buy. Certainly, money can buy commitment and hard work from some short-term, but their enthusiasm runs out.
If money is your only motivation, examine the purpose behind the work you do. Regardless of industry or profession, there is always a positive impact and deeper purpose in the work you do. Channel your inner Simon Sinek and uncover your "Why."
2. They can't stop thinking about themselves.
Each and every one of us wakes up thinking about ourselves. The last time you looked at a group picture what did you look at first? I guarantee you scanned the picture to look for yourself. We all do it. Selfishness is a battle we face whether we like it or not.
Here's where the challenge lies: leadership is all about other people. In the Building the Best book, I define a leader as "someone whose actions inspire, empower, and serve in order to elevate others over an extended period of time." Professionals who can't stop thinking about themselves literally can't become a leader because it's impossible for them to elevate other people.
If you can't stop thinking about yourself and only what's in your best interest try the PTS method. Anytime you change environments say to yourself "prepare to serve." It will help reset your mindset from serving yourself to serving other people.
3. They think leadership only meant for other people.
There's a clear difference between a boss/manager and someone being seen as a leader.
Elevating other people is something anyone is capable of in the workforce, but few choose to do. It has absolutely nothing to do with a title and everything to do with their actions.
While there is no denying genetics play a part in someone being drawn to leadership, it doesn't mean they are guaranteed to be a good leader.
Leadership isn't for the select few it's for me and you. Your life and career will get richer if you take the development of your leadership skills seriously.