Being a Good Employee Doesn’t Equal Being a Good Leader

Mike had worked at Company ABC for about five years. He’d always performed the best in his department, meeting his quotas and then moving beyond them. If anyone needed help, he’d find a way to lend a hand. He listened attentively to criticism and tried to find ways to boost his own performance. His bosses felt the next natural step included making him a manager. But Mike fell apart. He viewed himself as such a team player that he didn’t know how to act as the captain, leading others. And those in his department didn’t trust him to lead, either.  Mike wanted to do well, but he didn’t have the skills he needed to effectively act as a manager.

  • Why should you develop leadership skills? First , doing so will help you become a better employee all around. Leadership skills don’t necessarily work only for those on some sort of managerial/CEO-based track. For example, one of the most highly prized skills of leadership? Strategic thinking. This involves having an idea of where you want to go and a vision of how to get there. Whether that includes meeting your own quotas or running a team/department/company, that sort of thinking will promote success.
  • Want to move up? You’ll need the skills to advance. If you want to move up the ladder, it usually involves some form of leadership, so honing those skills will demonstrate your readiness to be in charge. A great employee doesn’t always mean you’ll make a great leader (as with poor Mike). Great employees are often self-motivated; they don’t need constant supervision to get their work done. Great leaders know how to motivate others, especially those employees who do need a little guidance. Until you demonstrate you can lead well, you’ll likely stay where you are.
  • How do you develop leadership skills? If you feel you don’t quite have the chops to move up to manager but want to, study those in charge whom you admire and who get the job done well. What commonalities do they share? Some say leadership can’t be taught, and of course some people come to it more naturally than others, but a quick online search will tell you what skills good leaders have and how you might go about sharpening yours. Remember as well not all leaders are the same: You can use your own approach while embodying the skills you need.

Good employees don’t always make good leaders, but you can and should consider adding some leadership qualities to your own work ethos no matter whether you want to move up or not. To make your next job move, partner with the specialized recruiting professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks/ Ventura County.

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