Vail Daily column: Focus on your managers
Managers have it tough. Many folks who elevate their performance and drive towards a bigger brighter future do so because they seek a career path that comes along with more responsibility, a little more pay, a title, lots of extra work, headaches and drama. They want to become a manager.
And for many of those lucky “new to management” people, it is their very first time in a management role. Are they ready for it? Did they get the position out of longevity and loyalty? Were they promoted because they were very good in a sales role, and since they were so good at selling they must be ready for a sales management role?
Let’s take a look at that last example, promoting a sales person to sales management just because they were awesome at selling and were a top producer. They may have been groomed for management and they very well may also be ready for the new responsibilities. But many times the person is promoted prematurely, given responsibilities way outside of their comfort zone and what happens is that the company or business loses a top sales person and gains an inept manager. It is a double loss and unwinding the mess is ugly, embarrassing, and painful for both parties.
The best way to alleviate the headaches and heartburn that can come with new managers is to take the time to make sure that the person being considered for management is truly ready for the role. Spend time and money investing in their future and the future of the business. There are books, audio programs, websites, and training organizations that can help provide the foundation for the person you are considering for a management position. There are also assessments and tools to better evaluate skill sets and behavioral styles that can help you determine is someone is ready or not.
And for those of you reading this column who have a desire to grow into management and then executive positions, it is important that you take the initiative to seek out the books and training programs or materials that can help get you ready for a potential new and more senior role. The best way to go from point A to point B in a career path is learn what it takes to be successful at point B while you are still at point A. And then seek out other managers, observe their behaviors and styles, interview executives and ask them what makes for a good manager. But if you are serious about wanting to grow, don’t always look for your boss or company to provide the tools – you must demonstrate your willingness to invest in your own future through self-directed and self-funded personal and professional development.
I would love to hear from all of the executives, managers and management wannabes out there and your thoughts about management readiness at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let-s work together to bring up the next generation of managers and together we can make it a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.