Everyone wants to be a chief, no one any more Indians. If you are just starting your professional life, you get the ideal ingrained in from the start: Show yourself as a good manager. The leaders of tomorrow are noticed and young colleagues are tested for their leadership skills at an early stage. Ten or fifteen years ago, young executives were still worth a headline in industry service. Today, outside of their own organization, hardly anyone is interested in which “young talent” was given a title to emphasize the future viability of the company.
Management responsibility and creative freedom are the great promises of young careers. Everyone wants to be “Head of” something. This creates complex structures – with many roles and little substance.
Someone has to do the work
No wonder that many specialists are now choosing to be self-employed! The ideal of leadership completely overlooks the fact that someone has to do the work too. A corporate culture that only promotes and cheers its managers remains hollow in itself.
The economy must therefore rediscover an old quality: the quality of good work. People who feel like doing something, people who are good at what they do. It is they who create products, perfect services, it is they who (should) have the time to develop good ideas and pursue them further.
Skilled workers need perspectives
It is therefore the committed employees who advance every company. But this commitment is likely to go hand in hand with another endeavor: They don’t just want to develop their cause. You want to keep reinventing yourself professionally. They want a career – a career path – that can be seen in their labors. They too want to be able to move up.
That is why the good people, the specialists, need more exciting perspectives. And yes, these can be perspectives without managerial responsibility. We all know these executives who were once good workers until they pushed for a promotion, wanted more money, more creative power. Otherwise you would have left. Their expertise should be preserved in the company, that’s why they were promoted and well – unfortunately that doesn’t always work out well. The good specialists who are so difficult to keep are sometimes also people who are not able to lead a team. Those who can’t deal with people, but were so good at what they did, only unfortunately they no longer have that much to do with the practical work.
The Beförderung is somehow worn out
For decades, promotions along the command structure were a well-intentioned attempt to keep experts in the company. But they didn’t work. For the primary goal – this person needs title, power and money, otherwise he goes – they have worked. But at the same time professionals have been pushed out of what they were good at. Towards something that sometimes they weren’t so good at.
Classic transport is therefore no longer enough. Business needs more creative ways to reward and keep good people. Well-sounding titles will always be part of the program, they are popular. In addition, it is the task of good leadership to discover good alternatives to internal power distribution.
What does the engineer who would not be a good head of department, but still need a next career step, need? What does the controller need who doesn’t even say hello in the morning, but whose expertise and contacts are valued in the company? Many people would answer – not surprisingly, actually – that they would like to have more influence. They want to be heard and seen. That kind of influence is just not the same as being responsible for people.
Career paths are a management task – for GOOD managers
To break new ground here requires creativity. Promotion is always the easiest way. A new intermediate level is quickly created in management, as is a staff position that sounds important, but is just a sideline. In both cases, the company only managed one thing: A person who had previously done a good job has been pushed into organizational nirvana. Even if such a title is well meant: Alibi promotions always involve the risk that a person will simply be lost. And then really gone.
Good managers are always also personnel developers. This realization already makes it clear that not every person is suitable for this task. Working life has to get back to business. This requires people who lead. And it takes people who do.