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How Do You Know If Your Star Performer Is Ready For A Leadership Role?

How Do You Know If Your Star Performer Is Ready For A Leadership Role? Head 4 Performance Explains How

This is a really common dilemma in many businesses and one that can be challenging. The stakes are high as you want to recruit the right person and you also want to grow the talent in your business.

Do you recruit your star performer who hasn’t managed a team before but is amazing at sales and wants to move into a leadership role or an external recruit who has leadership experience but doesn’t understand your business?

This can be a difficult decisions as if you chose leadership experience over your star performer you may lose your star performer and also potentially your sales.

Before starting the recruitment process, there a couple of things you should consider:

  1. People Skills – talking about their self-awareness, giving examples where they have shown empathy and supported someone within the team to achieve their goals. Demonstrating their level of emotional intelligence and showing their approach to motivating people.
  2. Future Focus – giving examples were they have dealt with a situation and then thought about what that means for the future. How they have achieve goals and the approach they have taken. Demonstrating their ability to implement vision and future thinking.
  3. Delegation – giving examples were they have delegated to someone and that they are thinking that others in the team can do it as well and if not better than they could. What approach did they take and what outcome did they achieve? Demonstrating their ability to develop or hone skills of others.
  4. Communication – they are great speaking to customers and achieving the sales but how do they ensure the team is clear about what expectations and their roles within the team? how do they influence and what would they say their leadership style is?
  5. Understanding the business – what do they think the role of a leader in the business is? what culture do we have? what can they bring to the team? what are their strengths and how we you see them come alive in the leader role?

Once you have consider their answers and compared them with the skills and competence you require in the new recruit, then you will have your answer.

A common question I hear at this stage is  “They don’t have all the skills that I need but they are really keen to learn”. The answer to this question is time!

  • Do you have enough time to develop the missing skills and competence?
  • Can you support their development? How will you do this?
  • Will they grow quick enough to achieve the 3 goals over the next 12 months?

If the answer to all three questions is yes then moving your star performer to a leader role is probably the right answer.

If the answer is No then looking outside the business may give you a better option.

You also don’t have to you to loose your star performer. With development support and clear goals to achieve there will be future opportunities. You could also develop their skills focusing in Sales and follow a different route.

This is never an easy decision, but in my experience you need to give careful thought and looks at all your options.  Anyone starting their first position, as a leader needs support coaching and encouragement, this takes time and commitment from you both.

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(Sara’s) approach was structured and sensible and allowed us to create a clear vision for the people in our business now and in the future.
Nicola RayManaging DirectorModern