Managers: Magic or Mess…2

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu

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Post 2: As they were walking to their cars the next evening, Suzie brought up the article Peter had shared. He had been passionate about the statistics showing the impact of managers on employee engagement and quality results.

“Wait up, Peter. I do have a few thoughts from the article you forced on me,” she teased, “It was a good reminder of how the people on our teams have differing needs related to morale, motivation and their understanding of the expectations. These all drive the effort they give to their work, and the article reminded me that, as leaders, we have to be able to influence at that individual level while still compelling them to move together at the team level.”

“Well, look at you, being all geeky.” Peter laughed out loud, “I knew you weren’t as dense as you act.”

“Shut up,” she mumbled, slugging him in the shoulder. “The most critical piece for me was the reminder that most companies promote workers into managerial positions because of tenure or performance, rather than talent. Even I know that is a bad practice, but we see it – and do it – all the time. I know that’s why your brother has such a fight with that one sales team; Uncle Charlie wanted to reward a tenured salesman by making him a manager, and now it impacts all of us – especially those Account Execs on his team.
“I made a list of the people I was considering for that new supervisor spot in case we split my team. I had to admit that I was thinking more about their current performance than I was the business and leader skills I’ve seen them use. When I crossed out the names that were primarily subject matter experts, I only had one left… pretty shallow pool of options.”

“I’m glad you’re considering that.” Peter put his stuff in his car, but closed the door to continue his thought. “If they accept our proposal to make this change, we’ll need someone who can hit the ground running and not have a big development curve if we discover they aren’t right for the job. We might want to look for more candidates in other parts of the company. It’s probably important for this new supervisor to know the business – but not in the place of managerial talent.”

Suzie leaned against his car, “The article mentioned natural talent needed to be successful managers, but it didn’t actually list specifics. I’d like to find some information on that because we really need someone who will be able to help us as we grow this group. Are you up for doing some more research?”

“Always! I’ll do some searching tonight…. But I’ll try not to act too excited at your interest!” He heard her laughing as she walked toward her car.

Reality: Conjuring the ‘magic of managing’ requires a strategy. Without a plan that ensures managers have the right skill-set before taking their positions, many businesses exhaust employees and reduce results by selecting  subject matter experts, personalities, friends and sometimes even insecure bullies who try to ‘manage’ but leave a mess.

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog What details will Peter find about the managerial talents needed to focus on each person’s needs and strengths, to boldly review each team member’s performance, to rally people around a cause, and to execute efficient processes?

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