A good employee can change the dynamic of the entire team, but a good manager can change the dynamic of the entire business. Hire a superstar and your profits and brand will explode; hire a dud and you’ll lose money faster than Usain Bolt’s 200m. But how do you find the right person for those managerial positions? Do you search within the company and go for someone who has done their time and deserves it? Or do you look far and wide for talent? And how do you define talent? What is it that makes someone a good manager?
Gallup, a company that delivers research, analytics and advice to businesses internationally, say that great managers “naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity.” They also say that great managers contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers – 48%!!
So who are these great managers? They all share these five talents:
1. They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
2. They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
3. They create a culture of clear accountability.
4. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
5. They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.
Number five is quite important and something I come across quite a bit – making a call based on whether it will be popular with the masses (the team) rather than on whether it’s the right decision for the business. It also raises that point I made earlier about where to look for your managers. The answer? If you have the right person on your team, promote them. But if you think you need to give them the job because they’ve been there for ages and are a hard worker and well liked etc BUT you don’t think they’re management potential, then don’t do it. Make the call based on productivity, not politics. It’ll cost you less hassle and stress in the long run.
Gallup also note that some people “exhibit some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can function at a high level if their company invests in coaching and developmental plans for them.” I’ve done heaps of work on coaching managers up the ranks and helping them take that next step so let me know if you need help with business coaching or talent coaching: firstname.lastname@example.org
(To read the full Gallup article, head here: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/03/why-good-managers-are-so-rare/)