From Star Performer to Struggling Manager: The Pitfalls of Promoting Without Training

Promoting top performers into management roles without proper training can create significant challenges in entrepreneurial businesses. The Peter Principle suggests that people often get promoted to roles where they’re not competent, leading to decreased productivity and morale.

Team dynamics and performance can suffer when new managers aren’t given the right training. Untrained managers often struggle with conflict resolution, delegation, and team motivation, leading to poor communication and a lack of direction. According to the Harvard Business Review, many companies wait too long to provide leadership training, making these issues worse over time​ (Harvard Business School Online).

Being ill-prepared for a management role also means managers may fail to communicate effectively with their employees. This can lead to unresolved issues and rifts within the organization. Employees can feel undervalued and unsupported without regular communication, which further impacts morale and productivity.

Imagine Alex, a skilled engineer promoted to lead his team. He was initially excited but soon found himself overwhelmed. Without training in people management, he struggled with delegation and conflict resolution. His team missed deadlines, and communication broke down, creating frustration and stress among team members. Alex’s experience shows what happens when high performers are promoted without the necessary management skills.

Gino Wickman’s book Traction emphasizes the importance of having the right people in the right seats. This means ensuring that managers are good performers and equipped to lead, manage, and hold their teams accountable. When businesses fail to train new managers, they place them in seats where they can’t effectively lead their teams, causing a ripple effect of issues throughout the organization​.

In People, Mark O’Donnell, Kelly Knight, and C.J. Dubé discuss hiring, firing, and retaining employees. They advocate for ongoing training and development to prepare employees for future leadership roles. Promoting without proper training can lead to significant setbacks.

Promoting employees based solely on their job performance without management training can have serious consequences. Investing in training programs that equip new managers with the skills they need to lead effectively ensures smoother transitions, maintains high team performance, and fosters a positive work environment. Entrepreneurs must recognize the importance of management training and take proactive steps to support their leaders.

Incorporating insights from Traction and People provides a robust framework for ensuring that top performers become top leaders.

Author Bio

Jim Bras is a Certified EOS Implementer based in Laguna Hills, California. With years of experience helping businesses streamline operations and achieve their goals, Jim is dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs to lead more effectively and grow their companies. He specializes in working with businesses in South Orange County, ensuring the right people are in the right seats and that managers have the skills they need to succeed. For more information or to schedule a conversation, you can reach Jim at



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