I’ve been working with a couple clients considering internal candidates for first-time leadership roles.  This process is always tricky.  We can assess the person’s leadership style, aptitudes and motivations, but there are many more aspects to leadership than just these components.

This LinkedIn post provides 6 mistakes rookie leaders often make.  The article is on point and you will quickly notice that the mistakes are polar opposites.  Often, a weakness is a strength taken too far.  That being true, a couple mistakes from the article jumped out at me:

2. Too hands off

What a lot of people fail to realize is that with every promotion comes more work not less. When leaders make that mistake, they become hands-off, sitting in their office and leaving everything to their team. As a leader you are heavily involved in defining the goals, setting the vision, inspiring the team and leading the charge. Leadership is not a hands-off paper shuffling job.

3. Too hands on

Just because you were the expert doesn’t mean you need to be involved in everything. Your job is to lead the team, not necessarily to do the work. Sure, there may be times when you need to step in and get your hands dirty, but that should be the exception, not the rule.

Now I would argue that this level of involvement has to vary between your direct reports.  Some salespeople need an involved sales leader (think High I salespeople) while other salespeople would rather run independently (think High D salespeople).  The key is to assess your sales team and know what each individual needs to be successful.  New leaders often struggle with attempting to dial in the right amount of involvement for each salesperson on their team.

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