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How-to turn good technical people into great leaders

How-to turn good technical people into great leaders

Time to Read: 1 Min 45 Secs  


ht_buttonIt is a challenge in every type of company – how to ensure an effective career path for technical experts who have had little if any formal leadership experience, learning or training.

  1. Create parallel career paths: (1) leader of people/teams, and (2) technical. Both have the proportionate level of importance as per the value they deliver to the organisation.
  2. Every senior role in your organisation has a named successor and provide that person with business coaching and support to make sure they can do the role when they get there.
  3. At an individual level, provide technical managers with progressively increasing exposure to and challenge in the core areas of business leadership.
  4. Provide unorthodox challenges and somewhat crooked career paths, especially those that compel an individual to learn, adapt and build the qualities and capabilities needed to be an effective leader.
  5. Make it a two way street: the organisation should provide the structure and foundation, and each individual must take ownership and responsibility for her/his own career path and make decisions that will get him/her where they want to go.
  6. Actively listen. The best way to do this is to actually do it!  And ask questions relating to what you have just heard.
  7. Turn data into a story – what it means for the people who are listening – data itself is dull; everyone loves stories, especially about themselves.

This is an advance summary of a paper written in partnership with The Molten Group, which will be published at the end of August. If you would like a free copy please email

With my love and best wishes


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6 Responses to How-to turn good technical people into great leaders

  1. There are too many positions in companies which have no succession planning.
    People like to hold on to power and not delegate.

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