I don’t think so. You can recognise that the skills required for one role do not automatically translate into another and in business more than anything else, management skills are not taken as seriously as they should be. I know I am talking about credit management here, the fact is I could be talking about any area of business. Great accountants become Financial Controllers, great salespeople become sales managers and great marketers become Marketing Managers we give them responsibility for a single area of the business, a number of people to help them perform the function and we let them get on with it.
The main problem with this type of internal promotion is that the person, more often than not, takes their existing work with them and are expected to manage as well. Somehow they are supposed to instinctively pick it up as they go along, and it is little wonder that in most cases they don’t, an in a high number of instances the quality of management we have to endure is pretty poor, to say the least.
All you have to do is look at the management structure in sports – take the soccer premiership as an example. Most of the current bunch of managers played football, most weren’t great footballers, even Alex Ferguson was at best an average football player. On the other side of the coin very few great footballers went on to become great managers, some managed for a while and moved on. I’m am sure you can find similar stories in whatever sport you follow as well.
The most fundamental question that has to change in your own mind when you move into a management role is around getting the job done. When you are working and you are asked to do a job the question you ask yourself is “how am I going to do this?”. When you are a manager the question becomes “how am I going to get this job done?” While they may look similar there is a world of difference between them. In the first instance you are relying on yourself to do the work, in the second you look to your people and work out who is the best person to perform this task. At the start it may take you longer to sit down and explain what has to be done, why it has to be done and the importance of performing the task to the required standard, in the long run it will enhance your position as a manager and as you spend time with your staff explaining the importance of their role and giving them the knowledge, the tools and the expertise to get the job done, you will gain their respect and their commitment to performing at a level of excellence.
In coming weeks we will look at the other basics you need to cover to ensure you are on the road to greatness in management. The four basics we are going to cover are:
- Select great people
- Define clear expectations
- Praise and Recognition
- Show care for your people.