How to become a good manager? 4 ways to fill the gap in management skills

The translation of the article was prepared especially for students of the Team Lead 2.0 course.


How to become a good manager and fill the gaps in business management skills?
Today, many underestimate the need for competent management in business. Management is hard. Not only for the manager, but also for the business.

We do not always understand how difficult it is to switch from work to managing it.

This is the biggest change that happens to a person as he progresses through the ranks. And too often it turns out that a good employee becomes a manager without the necessary skills, desire and understanding.

We underestimate the role of managers in business. There are three key issues in the Business Development Life Cycle that companies need to address:

  1. Systems + processes
  2. Steering Group Coherence
  3. Good management culture

In fact, management culture is often overlooked or ignored. However, when you have excellent field managers, the results grow exponentially.

The most successful companies have a clearly defined definition of who a good manager is. Other companies simply say, “These are the people to whom you must obey.”

Three management roles

To form a true management culture, you first need to understand the real role of management. If you have managers who are successful in these three areas, you can safely count on the growth of your enterprise.

1. Getting results: Effective management brings the desired results of the required quality on time.

  • Quality + Timeliness = Satisfied customers
  • Efficiency (within budget) = Profit
  • Quality + Timeliness + Efficiency = Winning for everyone

2. Recruitment and development of staff: Management is a catalyst that encourages people to develop certain skills, motivation and faithfully fulfill their responsibilities. The manager needs:

  • Hire people with development potential.
  • Develop technical professional skills, communication skills and critical thinking.

3. Overcoming difficulties: When obstacles arise on the way to the goal, management makes every effort to:

  • Turn the situation in your favor;
  • Revise the strategy to avoid unnecessary difficulties.

Defining the role of management is easy enough, but to feel it in practice is not easy. It turns out there is a simple explanation for this.

Why is management so difficult?

“90% of people are born good workers, 9% – good managers. And only 1% of people are born true leaders. ”

90% of people are born good workers: they are simply talented in one specific field and make their individual contributions to it. They can be marketers, engineers, accountants, or other professionals.

What happens if you do your job well? You get a promotion. However, in most cases, an “increase” leads to the management of other employees. This is not quite a legitimate increase, it requires a completely different set of skills.
Think of your best bosses. What do they have in common?

What should and should be a good manager?

Good interaction skills: Managers know how to communicate with people and they like to do it.
Good ability to motivate: Managers know that they are just a channel with which you can achieve great results.
Manager is a good teacher: Good managers not only give directions, but also train.
Ability to delegate: A good manager will not simply delegate what he does not like to do himself. He will delegate to his team those processes in which his wards can learn something.
Systems approach: Systems and processes have predictable results, and great managers can make good use of these tools.
Composure: Managers can perform many different tasks and combine several projects simultaneously.
Responsibility: Managers know how to hold others accountable, because in the first place they themselves are very responsible.
Justice: A good manager is objective and makes fair decisions.
Listening skill: Good managers listen to the real needs of their employees.
Organization: Managers organize the work and act according to plan.
Excellent communication skills: A great manager is not necessarily the most charismatic, but his speech is always accessible and understandable.
Development of wards: If a manager is not developing his employees, this is probably not a very good manager.
Get results from the work of others: What is the purpose of all of the above? Managers get the result of teamwork.

Now imagine a typical engineer. If the engineer is truly qualified, does he necessarily have all of the above skills? Not at all. And there is nothing to worry about. However, even the greatest engineer needs help to become a good leader.

Management + leadership: Given from birth?

That's why managing is so difficult: only 9% of people are able to become managers, that is, they are simply born with natural management abilities.

And even fewer people are born with the natural ability to lead. Only 1% of people from birth have a leadership talent.

What if someone is not a born manager?

Does this mean that none of the 90% of your environment can become a manager or leader?
Of course not. If management and leadership skills do not come naturally, you need to work extra on this.

The transition from individual activity to leadership is the most difficult transition that you have to make in your career. As a result, many employers will send technical specialists to management training in the hope that a manager will succeed. Everything is not so simple here.

For most managerial training programs, learning outcomes are not specifically formulated. In addition, no control measurements are taken to understand how well the program has been learned.

Management training can work. But the employee should sincerely strive for this. For this reason, most employees say "if you don’t stop growing, it's time to leave."

4 ways to fill management gaps

If your business lacks a management culture, there are 4 ways to fill this gap:

Hire external managers

Hiring an outside manager is the first step that a company with the aforementioned problem should decide on. However, it is dangerous.

Many companies promote workers who do not have the necessary qualities as managers. By hiring someone from the outside, you can easily stumble upon such a person, that is, one who has a “position” but no skill.

If you hire outside managers, I recommend that you clearly divide the roles in order to choose the right person. Here, the stage of “testing” for the presence of certain professional competencies is crucial.

Develop the managers you already have

The easiest option may be to develop the resources that you already have. Managers need not only skill, but also a desire to engage in management.

Getting skills is not as difficult as really wanting to develop in this direction. Define a specific role for the manager and let him show himself. Do not assign functions as necessary. Try to determine which role is more suitable for each individual person.

Find managers who are hiding in your company

Although it’s rare, it’s possible to find a manager “hiding” in the organization. After you have opened a manager’s vacancy in a new direction, someone in your company may immediately come to mind to you as being ideally suited for this position.

You should be careful, because you are unlikely to want the accountant to abruptly lead programmers. A new position can be a reward not only for the employee, but for the whole company.

Rethink the career ladder

If you want to get promoted, then the only way is to go to management? This philosophy can be rethought.

There is no reason to transfer the best workers to a new position where they will not succeed. There are no rules saying that a manager should earn more than someone under him in the organizational structure.

The management culture depends only on you, as a leader. Look at it easier: make sure that you have chosen the right role, and that you have people with the necessary skills and desire to fulfill it.

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