28 Sep 2016

One of the early tests of a leader and manager is to recruit or promote someone to a position of responsibility.

It requires many of the communication skills of management, an understanding of the consequences of promoting one member of a team (tactical thinking) and an understanding of how such promotion fits into the long-term ambitions of the business (strategic thinking).

Here is a reliable guide:


Make an account of achievements over the past period – Why are you recommending them? What is the most compelling reason?


  • Appraise the candidate’s current qualities and skills and make a risk assessment of the gap between the current skills and those required by the new position.
  • Audit the strengths, capabilities, attitude – What are the skills and capabilities that are equal to the new role?
  • Discuss ambitions and readiness for greater responsibility – How motivated, how confident?

The importance of ‘Attitude’

As people rise up through the organisation, the importance of a resilient and positive attitude rises too, for example:

At task or functional levels it is the skill of execution that dominates the requirement even though good attitude is welcome. At senior levels it will be the quality of thinking that dominates – here a good attitude is mandatory.


  • Describe the job in full and explore the candidate’s understanding of the new role – How accurate is their understanding? Where do they see the opportunities to improve on the current role? How will they tackle this?
  • Agree terms – Package, accountabilities, measures, KPIs…

What happens next? Set out a concrete plan; transfer of duty, existing tasks, new planning…

Support and training

What will this person need to succeed?

Work out a support plan that takes into consideration competencies, risks and challenges.  In particular, set up regular appraisal meetings in the early stages and discuss results, learning and confidence.

To understand more about this, consider booking onto our Foundations of Management course which provides delegates with the skills and disciplines required to meet the demands of leadership and management.