A Manager’s Success? Her People.
- Successful managers unleash the talent within their team and intentionally develop skills that allow them to be agile and innovative
- Most managers come from an area of subject matter expertise so the science of learning and performance is a new skillset that can be devloped
Managers are critical for organizational success. But perhaps not for the reason that many think. Which begs the question – what makes a successful manager?
Is a good manager a good strategist? Does she have the ‘finisher-completer’ mindset? Or is he someone with excellent attention to detail? Perhaps it’s project management skills?
For sure, these things are important. But I don’t think any of these matter if the team can’t produce the goods or provide the services. And it’s not the manager who provides them – it’s the team members.
Team members need resources, processes, and an opportunity to develop skills. Generally, developing skills is the area managers have most influence. Resources and processes are often imposed on them.
New World for Managers
I believe that the best managers are talent developers. Sure, they focus on results and do project management, but their real value is doing everything to motivate staff help them develop their skills.
It’s a big challenge. Seeing the manager’s role this way doesn’t fit into the old industrial mindset that influences the way many commercial and government organizations were structured.
The industrial mindset is governed by assumptions like markets are predictable, assets are controllable and effective managing is about pre-empting needs and allocating resources into the right box.
And of course, none of this makes much sense in 2020. Predictable? Who saw the COVID 19 pandemic coming? Controllable assets anybody? The stock market in 2020 Q1 has been up and down like a yoyo.
It’s People who Create the Success
One of the secrets to agile, innovative teams is staffing. Managers must select people who are flexible and creative and create a culture where others can also build these skills and mindsets.
As organizations change, managers are increasingly becoming teachers and trainers. But it’s a tough climb for many because they went to college and studies accounting, engineering or marketing.
Just as engineering is built on physics, accounting based on finance, training, learning and human performance is built on its own science of psychology, biology and organizational dynamics.
How can a new manager be expected to go from being good at reading blueprints to motivating someone’s learning? From reviewing tax returns to identifying blocks to performance improvement? Beyond guessing and hoping for the best?
Managers Need Talent Training
You probably expect me to say this because I’m in the business of helping people develop skills in talent development. But I truly believe this.
One of the greatest investments you can make in your managers – or if you’re a new manager an investment you can make in yourself – is learning how to unleash the talent on your team.
Understanding your role and using talent tools with precision to intentionally develop your bench strength is critical to increase your impact beyond an average manager.
I have a program to help you with this that’s ready to go. I can tailor it for your organizational culture or industry sector. And I can offer it in person, or better still virtually. Call me today or CLICK HERE for a brochure.
If you want to work on this yourself, without me, you’re still making an incredible investment in future potential.
The areas I’d suggest you explore include reading up on motivation and in particular studies from neuroscience. How brain builds knowledge and skill, in particular evidence-based cognitive psychology. Then look into how to build expertise through things like deliberate practice. And of course, how to align talent to business and project needs. (These are the sorts of things we cover in our Talent Sherpa Program for Managers.)