By Colin Wilson | Director / Business Improvement Specialist Business Improvement HR Human Resource Services

2018 is now full steam ahead and you are relying on your managers to lead and grow your business. My question is ‘Can your managers manage and are they good leaders?’

We know as business owners, we cannot take our business to the next level without talented people. Many business owners appoint their best performers to commence a management career, wanting them to become a great leader in their business and hoping that they will take things to the next level through drive and motivation. But this is not always the best course of action – I can hear you asking why?

Great leaders are sometimes born, but more often they are nurtured. Learning to become a great manager takes skill, dedication and application. We may have staff that demonstrate leadership talent because they are ‘a people’s person’, very collaborative with their teammates and other colleagues, but can they manage?

Managing a team is a different kettle of fish to taking on a leadership or management role. Transitioning from team leader to a management position is intricate and during this period there is a lot for the future manager/ leader to absorb, learn and cope with. What happens during this crucial period is the breaking or making of this future manager/ leader.

Key areas that you need to think about before this happens is as follows:

  • Do they want to become that great manager/ leader inside your business or are you encouraging or pushing them?
  • How are they going to make the transition successfully from best mate/ colleague to manager/ leader?
  • What training are you going to provide to ensure they are successful as opposed to you failing them?
  • Are they prepared to invest in themselves to become a great leader?
  • Are you prepared to invest in them, so they have all the tools they need to become a great manager?

Throwing a good employee into a management role too early can destroy them. I find I come across this a lot with new clients we onboard. The amount of times I have heard the saying ‘great sales person, but not a good leader’ or, ‘a loyal employee, but not a good manager’, amazes me. It’s little wonder then that these valuable employees leave because they feel like they have failed – but in reality, it is not them who have failed – it is you. You have not been the great leader you may think you are. By not guiding these people in the role you wish them to fulfil, by not providing the correct training and tools, you have failed them as a leader.

You need to be very careful that you make the right decision. If you advertise for a management position, then you need to select the right person. If one of your staff apply, you need to be sure you make the right decision. After your interview process, if they are unsuccessful for the position, do not fail them here. Put them into management training to become a future leader and commence succession planning with them so you don’t lose them. If they are the right choice, then immediately provide them with the help and support they need to be successful. Providing management training and a good mentor to support and show them the way will give you a future leader preened especially for your organisation!

Here are some key questions I ask many clients:

  • How do you manage your staff in your business, what is your process?
  • How do your managers/ leaders empower their teams to be successful?
  • What is success to you and them?

Having your managers/ leaders aligned with your strategy brings massive collaboration, cohesiveness and a winning culture that will encourage top performance within the business. If you do not see this within your management team, then maybe you need to workshop the following:

  • How do you take your business from good to great in the way you manage your people?
  • What is leadership and how can you lead by example?
  • How do you recruit and induct the right people into your company leading to better success and less staff turnover?
  • How do you enforce and follow your policies and procedures to protect your company?
  • What is your process for success?
  • What is your Vision, Values and Purpose and is it linked to a strategy?
  • What are you looking for in staff performance, ability and outcomes?
  • How are you going to manage and motivate your staff for be more successful to take your company to the next level?
  • What does success look like for you, and what does it look like for your team?

One thing I know is that you cannot get growth or expand if your leadership team is not all on the same page. And where is the depth in talent coming through? Where is the succession planning for others so we can groom potential employees within your business for the future success of your company? If you have the excuse of – I am time poor – then it’s you that needs to change if you want to keep your quality people and have a successful business!

Our markets are rapidly changing. You to need to keep up – and that means more talented people in your business driving results. We now have up to five generations working in a business with different personalities, skills sets, and opinions – not to mention the multicultural staff we employ. When it comes to great management and leadership, you need to train and develop your A-team as well as new talent coming through, and maybe YOU as the Business Owner/s need to also change your habits. Take a good look at yourself and review the way you have been taught in the past.

KBA can assist by coaching and mentoring your future leaders. Our flagship training product the ‘How to Manage & Motivate Staff through a HR Process Workshops’ addresses all of the above pointers and observations. This worthwhile course is a great start to have your leaders on the same page.

On the other hand, if you believe you have a solid management/ leadership team, then let us help you take your Leadership Team to the next level with an offsite workshop to conduct ‘The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team‘ model based on Patrick Lencioni’s book which is centred around Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results!

If you need help in building your business, then contact us at Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE or go to our website www.keyba.com.au
And don’t forget to sign up to our free webinars for 2018!

About The Author

Colin Wilson
Colin Wilson

Linking businesses to profit is what Colin Wilson, director and founder of Key Business Advisors loves to do best.

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