Many people are ushered into managerial positions without the required managerial training. Some become managers through a promotion that come in recognition of their technical expertise. Others become managers through formal management training. What makes the difference, does it matter how one get to be a manager? Does the manager’s skills reflect in team performance, are teams a reflection of their managers? Other people refuse to take responsibility of managing anyone, preferring to focus entire on their own work. No matter what our preference is, one way or the other someone has to manage the work of other people, to ensure that organised and coordinated process take place. What sets good managers from poor ones is the ability to reflect and learn from experiences of working with individual or teams, and build on those experiences. In order to improve, managers need to deliberately set themselves to grow in people skills.
Technical competency alone is not very useful in effectively managing a team or an individual. Technically competent people who are assigned to management roles are often shocked when they first realise that managing people is a daunting task. Managing an individual or a team is often misunderstood by those who come in management positions for the first time. New managers often confuse ‘telling their team what to do’ with managing the team. New manager often feel that they should know everything about the job their subordinates are performing. The manner in which a manager communicates and connects with his or her team sets apart a successful from unsuccessful manager. Success in managing a team does not come solely from what the manager communicates to the team, but even that which he or she does not have to say. Organisational policies and procedures manuals do not cause managers to succeed. Managing a team successfully demands more from the manager. Although words convey a huge portion of our communication, teams are often inspired to act by what is symbolised by the manager’s action. The inspiration from the manager can set the team on a path of success or failure. Skilled managers often set their teams on the path to success by helping them grasp the vision of the organisation and walking with them towards the vision, while mediocre managers point the vision to their team and walk behind the team towards the vision. Skilled managers don’t rely on their formal position to influence and inspire their teams; they rely on how they make the team feel to fuel excellent performance. Skilled managers find the balance between tight and relaxed controls. Skilled managers invest and grow their people and prepare them to leap higher, by providing them with calculated growth opportunities. Managers succeed with their people, their success is not individual but it comes from the grassroots. It starts with the cleaner who is keeping the machinery dust free.