So, what are the top ten reasons not promote someone? We’ve all seen it. People put in management positions that are ill-suited and poorly equipped for a leadership role. But how does this happen? Upper management surely doesn’t want to promote people, who will fail, do they? Poor management, at any level, adversely affects the company and lack of leadership weakens the bottom line. How can this be avoided?

Top Ten Reasons not to Promote Someone

10. They never have been a team player

If an employee is a standalone individual and doesn’t like to work with a team how can they manage a team? It doesn’t matter how good their work is if they’re not ready to be part of a team they’re not prepared to be a manager let alone a leader.

9. They’re not helpful teammates

Any employee that goes out of their way to avoid helping others is not a management candidate. Isn’t part of management helping others?

8. Their lifestyle demands don’t fit the position

For example, if the management position requires travel, but the individual has outside interests that require he or she to stay in one location then it’s not a good fit.

7. Personal finances are out of whack

Someone’s personal finances are a reflection on their decision making and organization skills. Severe debt problems can directly affect performance.

6. Anyone who wants to be a manager for the wrong reasons

When someone wants a promotion only for more money, power, freedom, or less work it will be difficult for them to succeed. Ya gotta want to help your team and the organization first.

5. Lack of people skills

Sounds silly to even consider putting anyone in a management role, who doesn’t have people skills, doesn’t it? But it happens more often than one might think. When a promotion is based on an employee’s ability to complete tasks, not on their ability to lead, grave mistakes can be made.

4. Can’t let go

Anyone who says they have to do it themselves if they want it done right will face huge obstacles in a management role. Until they learn how to let go, train direct reports, and delegate tasks, they will continue fall behind and not understand why.

3. They hate the job

When someone hates the job, they may jump at being the boss, if for no other reason than to get out of the work. This is a formula for failure.

2. Promoting someone based on performance alone

Just because someone is good at sales, running a machine, or installing product doesn’t mean they will succeed in leading a team.

And the number one answer is, Survey says …Tenure alone

Individuals promoted primarily based on tenure may lack the skills needed to manage a team. A tenured employee may know the job, show loyalty, and understand the business, but that doesn’t mean they can lead.

Bonus Reason

(Okay, I had a top 11—so sue me) Convincing someone to take the position. You don’t need someone you have to talk into the role. You want candidates that not only will accept the job, but want it. This may be one of the top reasons not to promote someone. However, don’t confuse someone who absolutely doesn’t want the job and responsibility with someone who does, but is afraid or intimidated.

So, how does your organization promote managers?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.