Q4 Leadership Tip: How Do You Coach a Reluctant High-Potential?

Jul. 29th, 2019

The Situation

Mark is VP of Marketing for a large chain of retail accessory stores. Two years ago, he hired Carrie, a young, promising manager in promotions. After graduating college, she got a job promoting special events at a department store. Then Mark convinced her to join his team.

Needs Broader Experience

While Carrie’s doing excellent work, Mark is concerned she isn’t getting broad enough experience in retail merchandising to make her a strong candidate for an executive position down the road. But a position to work with the buyers in their company has just opened, and the role would fast-track Carrie’s development. Mark is holding the position for Carrie.

Surprising Reaction

Mark tells Carrie the good news, but her reaction seems less than ecstatic. She has a lot of arguments against taking the role. She doesn’t think she’ll be good at purchasing. She’s in the middle of planning a major event. She’s worried about falling on her face.

Was This a Mistake?

A smart, young manager with lots of potential is being tapped for bigger things. Mark can understand some butterflies about taking on something new, but Carrie seems genuinely reluctant. Is she not suited for executive development? What’s the best approach here?

You Make the Call!

A.  Give up and look for someone else to fill the role. Why invest energy in someone who’s not interested?

B.  Take it slow. Help Carrie find comfort with the new role, and stress benefits that are right for her.

C.  Put Carrie into the role anyway. You know she’s got talent, so she’ll be fine. She just needs a push.

Here’s Your Q4 Answer!

Vice President of Organizational Consulting Dr. Emily Ingalls is here with the  Q4 Answer!

Ready for More?

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