‍Do you have any nightmarish manager horror stories? These can include things like power trips, feuds, unachievable expectations, and creating rifts between the team. Let’s discuss how we can avoid promoting poor managers to positions of leadership. In this article, we will discuss:

  • How to Develop a Leadership Success Plan
  • A Lesson from Barbie about Business
  • Signs of a Bad Leadership Placement


We all have experienced a boss or manager that has made us want to put our heads through the wall. But unfortunately, many business owners continue to promote these people to positions of leadership. If you can relate to these negative experiences with poor management, then you know that poor leadership can sink the business. As business owners, we must ensure that we are putting the right people into leadership positions.

So why do business owners make the mistake of promoting poor managers?

Oftentimes, it’s because they are choosing managers based on results and history of meeting Key Performance Indicators. Now, promoting someone based on results is not an inherently bad thing. It actually should be a major factor in the decision, as you want someone who knows the job well enough to teach others. The problem comes when we only choose based on results. We talk about this more in an article we did a few months back. Read it to learn a bit more about why result-based promotion can promote toxicity.

Instead, there are three things we should look for in potential managers. I list them in our recent YouTube video. Watch it now to learn the three qualities.

How to Develop a Leadership Success Plan

In the world of business, a scalable and sustainable succession plan is a critical aspect that plays a vital role in its development and success irrespective of its size. Especially for top-level positions, succession planning can mean the difference between success and failure. Despite the criticality of the process, organizations seem to lack in the department.

A lot of times succession planning is based on the results a leader has had or what they think that person can achieve in that role. For succession planning to be successful, there must be leadership development present in the entire leadership pipeline. At every employment level in the company, there should be an opportunity to educate employees.

Think of it this way, when potential hires apply to join your company, oftentimes it’s not with the mindset that they will stay in the same position for the rest of their working career. They usually do it with the hopes of advancing in the company.

So when we’re hiring people, we should not only hire based on what they have done but also on the potential they can have for the future. This requires looking at the needs of your company and assessing the areas that can be improved. Then, keeping these things in mind, look for people who can contribute to these areas.

A Lesson from Barbie about Business

Let’s take a look at one of the world’s most famous women, Barbie – more specifically the company that makes them, Mattel.

In 1997, Jill Barad was elected as CEO of the toy brand and held the role for 3 years, resigning in the year 2000.

Jill Barad is known for growing the brand exponentially, transforming it from a toy brand into a “global family life products company. During her time she pushed key acquisitions and charitable giving that helped to expand the brand. As a result, the company’s sales rose from $200 million to $2 billion.

Jill began as a product manager at Mattel before moving her way up. Her vast experience in sales and marketing helped to propel her forward and get the recognition she gained to advance.

However, she lacked experience in sales, finances, and Wall Street handling that CEOs should be familiar with. Coupled with her controlling management style is what many suspects is what led to disappointing sales that led to her resignation.

The lesson from this is that before promoting employees to management positions based on what they’ve done, think about what they can do in that specific managerial position. There are some things that they may be able to excel at, but are they capable of embodying all that the role requires whether that be skill or attitude?


Signs of a Bad Leadership Placement

We’ve talked about what makes a great leadership candidate in the video above. But now let’s discuss signs of a bad leadership candidate or placement.

1) They Don’t Follow Through

Word equates to worth, so if you have a manager or leader that makes promises to you or the team but forgets or fails to do them, then that isn’t an ideal person to have in that position. This destroys the trust between them and the team.

2) They Show Favoritism

Favoritism occurs when the leader shows preference to an employee purely based on personal matters. They may promote them to roles or give praise that the person does not deserve. Sometimes the “favorite” can be a relative of the boss, or maybe they hang out after work together. Whatever the instance is, that leader is giving that person more than they deserve, and it is incredibly unfair to everybody else who works hard and doesn’t get recognized for it.

It’s understandable to prefer the company of one person over another as some personality types get along better. But regardless of personal feelings, that should never cloud one’s judgment.

3) Decide Based on Emotions Rather than Fact

The leader is ultimately tasked with doing what is best for the business. This can work for or against an employee. We might know somebody who got fired for a common mistake simply because they caught their manager on a bad day. We also might know somebody who should have been fired, but didn’t because they conjured up a really effective sob story or played into the favoritism the manager may have for them. Regardless of personal temperament, a good leader should always distance themselves enough to do what is right, not what is necessarily popular.

If you want to attract the best leaders, start with your hiring process. Many business owners use outdated or ineffective hiring practices that create a pool of unqualified, low-potential candidates. This is one of the things we can discuss in the Complimentary Coaching Session, a two-hour deep dive into your business. Reserve your spot today!