One issue I have had in my time in management is bad leaders who keep their team down. They will ensure they are always on top and will cut you down if you try and move up. This is because they are insecure and have little to no self-esteem. They got in their position somehow, either by a leader taking them under their wing, or sometimes people get positions simply because of their time in with the company, regardless, this is no way to treat your employees.
Have your employees shadow you one day and see what it is you really do because, from my experience, most of my employees think just because I am not doing the grunt work anymore that I do nothing and it must be the easiest job. Once I give them the reigns, and they realize the truth, a lot of the time they will run back to being just an hourly employee. I find this is a good way to weed those out that do and do not want to be true leaders. I have had a few of my employees shadow me and they loved it. Some became managers and some decided to go elsewhere in the company but they did further their career after seeing what a day in the life of a leader was like.
Why is it Important?
Well, I would say it is important to teach your employees to be leaders because, whether they move up into a leadership role or not, it will help them better themselves as well as strengthen your team. When your employees start taking ownership and really seeing the forest beyond the trees, “seeing the big picture,” they will work harder together to get the job done, especially if they have that leadership drive. Most of your employees feedback is peer review, so wouldn’t you want their peers to have that team “big picture” mentality and not just think within their scope of the position? Anytime I moved into a new role, I would master it, and start learning the next role. It is important to instruct your employees to take your job so you can move up. The worst thing in the world would be to be stuck in your position because no one else can do it so the company keeps you there; not saying this is right, but I have seen it in the corporate setting.
Moving Up and Out
Like I said, you need to teach your employees to do your job so you can learn your boss’ job and take theirs. This is the natural progression and you really would not want to be stuck watching everyone around you move up because you did not want to take that initiative to train someone else to do your job. I am always challenging my managers, who report to me, to take on parts of my job and take that role on. This has helped me when I need to take a vacation, leave early for an appointment, etc. I have seen others in my position not being able to take as much time off or have the luxury of being in the office because they are stuck on the floor and have no one else to cover them. This causes them to work more hours and the possibility of losing further advancement, if the company decides to keep them stagnant. Trust me when I say, you do not want to be stuck because you’re the only one who can do the job.
It is piss poor leadership to shut your employees down for wanting to better themselves and it truly does not help you in your advancement as well. Keep in mind, when interviewing for future positions they will ask if you have mentored and/or helped groom someone for a certain position, and if you cannot provide an adequate example, you may not get that dream job you’ve always wanted. I have a handful of examples where I build my employees up and they are now in leadership roles; that’s where you want to be. Teach them to replace you so you can replace your boss, and so on and so forth. Keep the cycle going and lead your employees to be leaders!