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Why Capable People Are Reluctant to Lead

https://hbr.org/2020/12/why-capable-people-are-reluctant-to-lead

hbr.org

Why Capable People Are Reluctant to Lead
Three perceived risks that hold them back, according to research.

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Capable People Unwilling To Lead

Capable People Unwilling To Lead

Most people would want to grow in an organization, and strong leadership is essential for both professional and personal growth. Yet many capable team workers are reluctant to move towards a leadership role even when they have an opportunity.

The reason is the various perceived risks that make people not take up leadership roles even when they are deserving and capable.

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Leadership: Three Kinds of Risk

  1. Interpersonal Risk: When people are reluctant to lead due to spoiling a friendship or hurting a fellow workers feelings.
  2. Image Risk: People don’t want to come across as a ‘Mr Know It All’ or someone aggressive in front of all the team members.
  3. Risk Of Getting Blamed: Being a leader means that if the team fails, the person in charge takes all the blame. This loss aversion makes many shun a leadership opportunity.

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Mitigating Risk: Proactive Steps For Managers

  1. Be extra supportive of the fragile, risk-sensitive colleagues. Seek their input and publicly praise them for their team efforts.
  2. Relationship conflicts, differences of opinions, values or personality issues and the perception that comes with it needs to be managed before they escalate.
  3. Make the would-be leaders take up small, low-stakes opportunities and let them take baby steps towards higher-visibility roles once they gain confidence and build a reputation.

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Identifying Potential Leaders: Tips For Managers

A manager can identify a suitable and potentially capable employee by assessing his working style and provide them with opportunities for leading that may have a higher chance of success.

This also builds confidence while honing their leadership skills.

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