How Do You Ensure Managers Become Effective Leaders?
Empower Your Managers with the Leadership Tools They Need to Create Results for Your Business
One of the most common questions we hear from organizations is about clarifying a Manager’s role in their business. To what level of detail should they oversee their team’s work? How do they create alignment among different stakeholders? How do they ensure they’re using a results-driven leadership style and not simply reacting to different requests?
Without a doubt, a Manager’s key role is to remove barriers to higher performance. This is true at all levels of an organization. Plain and simple.
However, this simple approach is challenging to be good at. In a study by Gallup called “Why Great Managers are So Rare,” they found that 7 out of 10 Managers are incompetent as managers.
Leadership Skills Needed for Managerial Effectiveness
If a Manager’s role is to remove problems to allow their employees to achieve a higher level of performance, then we need to equip them with the skills to be able to do so. Creating a high-performance team culture means managers need skills such as the ability to prioritize competing issues, being solution-oriented, having strong interpersonal and communication skills.
Think of all of the questions you need to ask to solve and prevent problems from recurring:
- Which problems do I solve first?
- What are my options in solving this problem?
- How do I evaluate each option?
- Whose input do I need?
- How do I evaluate which option is the best one?
- Do all of these options align with the company’s core values?
- How do I test and trial the proposed solution?
- How do I prepare people who are affected by the change?
- How do I evaluate and measure the effectiveness of the trial?
- Who needs to know that there is a new way of doing things going forward?
- How am I going to ensure people don’t go back to the old way of doing things and the new solution is sustained?
Active Problem Solving for Managers
We call the time that Managers spend doing these things “Active Problem Solving.” This is a skill that can be taught, but don’t expect Managers to emerge from a classroom after a training session to be able to do this immediately.
Learning a new skill requires repetition and coaching. Managers won’t become skilled at execution and improve their team’s performance overnight on their own. We can’t expect Managers to be perfect the first time they try something new. If someone is not with them physically and watching them apply this new skill, then when they do encounter failure, they are likely to be demotivated or give up. This shoulder-to-shoulder coaching takes time, but is by far the most effective way of changing behavior in people and teaching a new skill.
Getting Managers to fulfill their role is a long term investment. Treat it as such. Invest in managerial effectiveness training to equip them with active problem solving tools. It will pay off when they start active problem solving on their own and turn your business challenges into successes.