Often because someone is good at something, the first inclination is to promote them and put them in charge of more people.
This can be a big mistake if the person is not an inclined leader as it sets them up for failure and in front of a larger audience than when they were an individual contributor.
What makes a great leader? Someone who is willing to put a group’s development first and find each person’s motivation and weaknesses and work on plans for both at the same time in my experience.
What are your thoughts on leadership?
I recently enjoyed a conversation with our 2012 eBay interns. We discussed careers, leadership, business, and engineering. Someone asked me about career path: should I follow the manager or individual contributor path? It’s a great question.
The answer is it depends on what you’re passionate about, and ultimately that’ll be key in determining whether you’re good at it. Here’s my litmus test for the manager career track:
- Are you passionate about leading people? If not, don’t become a manager. If yes, you need to develop people management skills: from growing people and helping them succeed, to delivering tough messages and handling challenging personal circumstances. You’ll need to spend much of your time working with people
- Is having impact through others rewarding to you? If yes, that means you feel reward when your team hits its goals, the people around you solve problems, and your employees work together as team. If not…
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