If you want to know why people are reluctant to be leaders, ask them.

When senior leaders are looking for talented staff to promote into management, they often assume that employees will fit around what the company wants. That’s an outdated attitude. In your annual staff survey, have you ever seen the question: “What would motivate you to become a leader or manager, and what do you think are the disincentives?” I would guess not. But as many well-qualified professionals, especially women, avoid becoming line managers, companies need to fit more around their employees.  Take the case of medicine. In 2019, the Organization of Danish Medical Societies was worried that the country’s government assumed doctors were reluctant leaders. But was that true? They approached me to find out. We asked the doctors about possible incentives and disincentives of going into management.

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