Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019 - 53

LEARNER MINDSET
MICHELLE EGGLESTON SCHWARTZ

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT:
A RISKY LEADERSHIP STRATEGY?

We've all heard the popular phrase,
"Fake it till you make it." This expression
elicits various mental pictures of
people who lack confidence in their
ability to do something, so they fake
their way to success. There is one
important downfall to this tactic - faking
competence is essentially lying and can
have a negative impact on a business.
And as with any stream of lies, the truth
will eventually surface.

training must caution the use of this
approach within their organizational
walls. Employees should not be left in
a position to fake knowledge. Learning
and development (L&D) must strive
to identify and close skills gaps by
providing employees with access to the
right training.

Can you imagine if you found out that
your surgeon, who was about to perform
high-risk surgery on you, lacked the
essential skills to do the job but had an
inflated sense of confidence in his ability
to be successful? Now, this is an extreme
example, but it showcases the slippery
slope of faking competence and ability.

In the context of corporate training,
there is a clear lack of investment in
training for first-time managers and
even more shortfall in coaching skills
for those managers. All too often,
high performers are moved into
management positions due to their
outstanding performance as a doer
and are rewarded with a promotion to
manage people. Going from doer to
manager requires a completely different
set of skills but often goes overlooked by
many organizations.

At the heart of this "Fake it till you make
it" strategy is the desire for increased
confidence. There is a desire to exhibit
strength in the face of a challenging
situation or circumstance. Science and
research have shown that this theory
can have positive effects on our selfesteem when used in certain situations.
For example, forcing yourself to smile
when you're not feeling cheery has
been shown to lift your mood, and
dressing for the job you want can lead
to increased performance. While you
may not always have the answers or
solution to the problem, exuding a calm
and confident demeanor can create a
calming effect and decrease the anxiety
of those around you.
While there are some foreseen benefits
to faking your way to success, corporate

BUILDING INVESTMENT IN FIRSTTIME MANAGERS

If first-time managers are not provided
with the necessary training and
education, then they are essentially
left to fake their way through their
new job. This strategy can lead to high
risks for organizations, including high
turnover from employees who are not
managed correctly, decreased employee
performance, and lack of efficiency. A
bad manager (just like a bad employee)
can greatly impact company culture and
can infect an otherwise healthy culture.
L&D must work to develop a robust plan
to train new managers. This investment
can significantly impact many of the
company's key performance indicators

(KPIs). There are many informal ways
to develop new managers. Instituting
mentor programs where new managers
can regularly meet with seasoned

EMPLOYEES SHOULD
NOT BE LEFT IN A
POSITION TO FAKE
KNOWLEDGE.
managers can allow an open dialogue
with questions and concerns that
arise in the context of the day to day.
Having positive role models in the
workplace can increase the confidence
of first-time managers.
Having a resource library with leadership
book recommendations, podcasts and
TED Talks can provide new managers
with access to develop in a self-paced
manner and apply those insights on
the job. Maintaining a social forum
or community of knowledge where
employees can connect over shared
topics can serve as a resource when new
managers have questions.
L&D must do its best to assemble the
resources to help build strength in the
role that touches the majority of the
company's employees. These leaders
can set the tone of the entire
organization and be a source of improved
retention, heightened engagement
and ultimately a competitive edge for
their organization.
Michelle Eggleston Schwartz is the editorial
director at Training Industry, Inc. Email
Michelle.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - THE ROLE OF L+D IN SUCCESSION PLANNING 20 19 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

| 53


https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com