When I was working at a big IT vender which is like IBM in Japan, I could not find leaders who showed leadership competencies especially among manager and senior manager class. They were specialists in their sections, such as exceptional salespersons, IT experts, and production control specialists. However, they didn’t have or at least show leadership competencies, such as market insight, strategic orientation, and team leadership. The team had a boss, but no leader. The team was solid thanks to the team members and trust in the boss’s exceptional performance on an individual basis, however the productivity of the sector never improved. In short, good players are not always good managers.
One of the major faults of this issue is the promotion system. I don't know the ins and outs of the promotion system in the US, I assume great performers in their field promote faster than others. Needless to say, people expect their boss to be a good leader. However, is this the most reliable way to find the next effective / influential boss?
To solve this problem, I heard some companies adopt 360 degree feedback for promotion. Some companies also have leadership programs for managers or send managers to leadership gyms. I assume those programs might have some ideas on how to best solve this problem. But in my experience, a leader type person is always a leader whether he or she wants or not. Undoubtedly, they also promote faster.
Considering these aspects, I assume high growth companies have some factors that attract leader type people. Those factors maybe consists of such as organization culture, high salary and companies’ missions. Analyzing the reasons why leader type people choose companies should be included in the recruiting strategy and it might have an effective impact towards companies’ growth.
[i] Katharina herrmann, Asmus Komm, and Sven Smit. "Do you have the right leaders for your growth strategies" The Mckinsey Quarterly July 2011