In sports, the star players don't always make the best managers. Just because they can play first base doesn't mean they can coach it. I failed in my last business where I selected the best salesperson to be the manager of my business development team. I figured if he could sell to our customers, he could lead others to do the same. Unfortunately, it ended in disaster when he failed to lead the team. He was so embarrassed that he quit and I ended up without a manager and a star salesperson.
The small business owner needs to ensure that the star employee has the skills to be a manager. What made them a star as an individual contributor is not what will make them successful as a manager. Here is what a small-business manager should look for before offering a promotion:
Do they go out of their way to help others on their team even without financial reward?
Are they good listeners when others talk to them? Do they have the empathy to see another point of view?
Are they willing to accept responsibility for other's actions?
Great managers are neither born or made, but they need these preliminary skills plus a job description. However, don't set up all the brightest stars for failure. Advancement needs to be provided through every organization that does not require the best to become managers if they don't have the desire or the skills to be successful.