I will start by exploring the qualities of a good manager. After that, I will look at the qualities of a productive individual. In doing so it will become evident that the qualities of both intersect on multiple occasions. However, the differences arise in the methods of goal execution which reflect why product people do not always make good managers despite the inclination to think that they would.
What are good managers?
From the employer's perspective, good managers consistently achieve goals set and create value for the firm. For subordinates, good managers are managers that foster an environment in which they can grow, be creative, productive and feel considered and accounted for.
Characteristics of good mangers
Good managers aren't scared to speak out in front of their supervisors and support their team's ideas and efforts. This, however, does not mean that they should always support their team on non-benefitial ideas. When it comes to executive pushback, they're open and honest with their staff.
Managers frequently say one thing to satisfy their staff and then do another, leading to manipulation and distrust on the part of the team. When plans change, good managers maintain their promises to their people and give reasons (not excuses). Earning trust is a type of respect, and leadership is all about care.
Many ineffective managers feel that busy work should be delegated to their subordinates. Regardless of how many fire drills are thrown at them, they charge tedious work to the team. The distinction between a boss and a leader is that they dive in and become involved with their team on significant initiatives. Good managers recognize that failure reflects poorly on both the team and the manager, which is why they rush in to assist in any manner they can, no matter how insignificant the assignment.
Remembering that your team is made up of individuals who seek to achieve their objectives and the team's goals is part of what makes a successful manager. Good managers prioritize meeting with each team member to learn about their strengths and limitations.
Excellent managers keep their teams informed when it comes to significant project updates, critical organizational changes, and critical choices. They think that being open and honest with their employees builds trust and shows leadership. A competent manager should constantly interact with their staff and answer inquiries or address issues, except personal, corporate decisions.
Playing it safe may seem like the easier option, but achieving your objectives isn't always straightforward. Risk-taking and experimentation should be encouraged, and managers should lead by example by jumping in first and testing the waters. Failures will occur; being flexible and willing to make mistakes is an integral part of learning and growing as a team.
An intelligent manager is not afraid to say no, no matter how difficult it is. Even if it's the right option, they recognize it won't please everyone. This is also true when a manager receives new task demands from directors and executives that they think cannot (or should not) be handled by their team.
Learning how to be a better manager can motivate your staff to work together more effectively. Collaboration on projects and ideas boosts productivity and communication. Although each team member may have distinct duties and responsibilities, finding ways to foster cooperation, such as arranging brainstorming sessions and team-building events, will increase morale and creativity.
When their staff works hard, a good manager acknowledges it. There are numerous more little methods to express thanks for their hard work and devotion other than incentives and promotions. Organizing a little celebration, having cupcakes delivered to the office, or just sending an email shout-out recognizes their outstanding achievement and boosts morale.
Excellent managers also find time for enjoyment. Happy hours, lunch outings, and scavenger hunts are all wonderful ways to keep things light and exciting.
What are productive people?
"It's impossible for everything to be important." Highly productive people can tell the difference between vital and minor activities.
Productive people also plan comprehensively; however, when they are stopped, or things don't go as planned, they make quick decisions to go back on track or keep them on track to get those things done that align with what's most important.
Highly productive people approach obstacles, difficulties, and challenges with a problem-solving mindset. In contrast, unproductive people try to guilt and blame themselves for becoming more productive, which leads to further paralysis.
People who are productive surround themselves with the proper tools and workspace. Before starting a project, they gather as much information as possible to optimize their productivity and chances of success.
Highly productive individuals have mechanisms in place to discover what they want, when they want it and obtain the information they need to support their tasks fast.
Highly productive people can remove time wasters, accept personal responsibility, and always seek for better.
It's about accomplishing goals regularly, sticking to deadlines, keeping commitments, and committing to teamwork." In a nutshell, it's about being "responsible."
When highly productive people don't know the solution, they go out of their way to figure it out. When they are unable, they are given the necessary skills and training. They have the desire, determination, and can-do attitude to make things happen.
Can productive people be considered as good managers?
Senior executives typically appoint the team's most productive work as a supervisor when a firm requires a supervisor for a unit. Some of these celebrities excel in their new job as managers, while others fail miserably. They often quit the firm when they fail, costing the corporation twice as much. And failure may be costly for the new boss, leading to doubts about their abilities, intelligence, and future career path. Everyone is on the losing end.
An examination of 7,000 workers outlined the seven habits of the most productive people in a Harvard Business Review article. The behaviours identified were setting ambitious objectives, demonstrating consistency, demonstrating knowledge and technical competence, driving for outcomes, anticipating and addressing difficulties, taking the initiative, and collaborating.
When they looked at the data again, they discovered that the abilities that the analysis indicated as essential for a great manager are considerably more other-oriented: individual talents and effectiveness are all bolstered by these qualities. They are highly valued abilities that increase productivity. They all save the last (collaboration), are focused on the person rather than the team.
They are receptive to criticism and personal improvement. The willingness to ask for and act on input from others is a crucial talent for new managers. They are attempting to become more self-aware. They are constantly striving to improve.
They are supporting the growth of others. Whether they are supervisors or managers, all leaders must be concerned about the development of others. While individual contributors can concentrate on their growth, excellent managers delight in assisting others in their progress. They know how to provide helpful feedback.
They are receptive to new ideas. The individual that focuses on productivity has most likely discovered a viable method and strives to make it as efficient as possible. Leaders, on the other hand, understand that innovation is rarely linear or efficient. An inspirational leader embraces innovation and recognises that it takes time.
Communication is excellent. The ability to convey information to others intriguingly and engagingly is one of the essential talents for managers. Communication is necessary for the highly productive individual contributor, but it is not the most critical performance aspect.
They are supporting changes in the workplace. Leaders and managers must put the company ahead of themselves, even if highly productive individuals are somewhat self-centered.
Why productive people don't always make good managers:
When they looked at the data more closely, they discovered that many productive people were considerably less successful at these abilities. They weren't adversely linked with productivity, but they didn't seem to go hand in hand with being extremely productive. Some highly effective people saw these qualities and behaviors, and they did not affect their output.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of leaders in the top quartile in terms of productivity are also in the worst quartile in terms of these six leadership-oriented abilities. As a result, one out of every four times a person is promoted to a leadership role due to their exceptional productivity, they will prove to be a less successful leader than anticipated.
Suppose a highly productive person has specialized technical competence developed over a lengthy period. In that case, it's natural to believe that if placed in a new job, the individual would rapidly learn the necessary leadership qualities. Regrettably, it only happens seldom.
Managers must be aware that the talents that enable individual contributors to be effective and productive are not the only skills they will require as managers. We believe that developing these managerial abilities while an individual contributor is still an individual contributor is the optimum time.
Some companies are considerably better at identifying the people who will make good managers. These companies usually start building management skills in high-potential employees by training them before they are promoted.
What's the point of starting early? After all, most people who become unsuccessful supervisors aren't bad at the abilities described above, and those who suggest them for promotion feel that those talents can be improved once they're in a management position. The issue is that acquiring these abilities takes time and effort, and most businesses want to see results right now.
New managers are frequently intimidated by their new duties and rely on the abilities that made them successful as individuals rather than the skills required to manage others. Before you promote high-potential employees, not afterward, is the moment to assist them in acquiring these abilities.
This should serve as a wake-up signal to the many businesses that wait until someone is promoted to a supervisory position before investing in leadership development. There's no need to wait; after all, if individual contributors develop their leadership abilities, they'll be more effective as individuals.
Individual contributors who invest time and money in their leadership development will benefit both those promoted and those who are not.
The mainline is that you should begin your leadership development initiatives sooner rather than later. You may be more confident that when you promote your top individual contributors, they'll become your best managers.
Yolanda Chimonyo is a Strategy and Performance Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.
Phone +263 242 481946-48/481950
Email: [email protected]
Visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com
View Yolanda Chimonyo's full profile