TIP of the Week – The 6 Skill Sets of Successful Managers

tape_measuring_success_1600_clr_6539Were you promoted to your present management role because you were technically very competent? And when you got into that management role, were you surprised at the things you were automatically supposed to know like: how to plan effectively, how to build a team, how to manage difficult people, how the finances of the business work, how to make decisions, solve problems and how to give presentations, etc, etc, etc. Many management careers start this way and the individual concerned is left to either sink or swim depending on how quickly they can learn, and sometimes they are not very pleasant lessons. There follows a description of the 6 skill sets that any manager needs to be successful. Are you brave enough to score each area out of 10 and then refer to the summary at the end to interpret your personal effectiveness?

How do you measure up…………?  

1 – Problem solving and processes improvement. 

How would you rate your process improvement skills? This means how effectively you identify and permanently resolve problems, eliminate waste and then improve the way things work in the business. This includes how well you research the cause of a problem and resolve it before issues are passed on to the next part of the process or the customer. What measures do you then put into place to prevent the problem re-occurring? Is the process in your part of the business better now than it was 12 months ago?

2 – Building & maintaining high performance teams

How good are your teamwork skills? This is defined as how well you understand the way your team works and the contribution of the individuals within the team. Do you ensure the right skills are in place and any necessary training is available? How well do you understand the interaction between you and other members of your team to successfully achieve business objectives? Also includes your ability to develop the team to become high performing, and what is needed to either reach or maintain this level of performance. Do you recognise where the team is in terms of its development and then adapt your approach depending on what stage of development they are at?

 3 – Managing and motivating people with powerful leadership skills 

How well do you get things done through other people and still maintain positive employee engagement? Do you use the appropriate leadership style to achieve objectives in a variety of situations? Do you recognise and address the needs of individuals in order to motivate them? How well do you understand the ‘big picture’ and convert that into detailed plans? Are you an appropriate role model by demonstrating professional and ethical standards?  How well do you adopt a positive approach to changing business requirements? Do you understand the dynamics of change and manage the impact of change on the team and individuals? How well do you manage your response to other people in difficult or conflict situations and build supportive business relationships? How well do you give feedback to address poor performance but do you also recognise a job well done through praise?

4 – Personal effectiveness and time management

Personal effectiveness and time management skills are about how effectively you plan your work, prioritise and delegate where appropriate in order to meet deadlines. It also concerns how well you store, access, retrieve and manage information and organise your work environment. Do you stay focused and follow through on actions that achieve key business objectives by managing distractions and interruptions? How well do you run and contribute to meetings including setting an agenda, identify and complete actions? How well do you transfer information to others in any form whether written, verbally or non-verbally i.e. body language? Do you listen effectively and actively help others to listen? Do you challenge your own boundaries and encourage feedback for self improvement and personal development?.

5 – Successful financial and business performance

How well do you understand the financial dynamics of the business and the contribution you and your team make? Do you understand the company vision, values and mission statement and the associated strategy? How well do you make decisions in line with corporate requirements and to successfully fulfill the business plan for the forthcoming trading period? Can you construct and monitor a profit and loss account and associated budgets for a successful financial outcome? How well do you use risk management techniques and apply those to the business?

6 – Extraordinary customer service and satisfaction

Customer service starts with the internal customer supplier chain which ultimately delivers to the external customer. How well do you identify customer needs and align with them? How well do you give the customer what they need consistently on time to the specification required? How well do you understand the real nature of quality including right first time and zero defects? What do you do when you have a customer complaint, do you have care tokens when you get it wrong? Do you cultivate a ‘Can Do’ attitude which delights your customer?

If you scored:

0 to 15 

Oh dear, you probably need some help! A score this low suggests someone who is finding it difficult to cope with the daily stresses and strains of the job. Often overwhelmed with work issues, people problems and consistently underperforming. You may also be ‘put on’ a lot by others. The good news is there is help is at hand. You should contact TIPS for Good Management immediately to advise how you can improve your score.

16 to 30

Ok, so you have some strengths in some areas, but you probably have very different days whereby sometimes things go well and other days are shockingly bad! Your working life may be a bit of a roller coaster ride and quite unpredictable. Your boss, colleagues and direct reports may get quite frustrated with you at times. You do deliver occasionally but equally there are  times when you do not achieve what is expected of you. Again, TIPS for Good Management can help you improve.

31 to 45

Overall you do quite well, mostly achieving what you set out to do, but just occasionally you don’t. You are often in control of your daily workload, but every now and then other people or issues torpedo your carefully planned day. You manage people around you reasonably well, you are fairly effective in meetings and generally a good communicator. Sometimes a lack of assertiveness may cause you to work extended hours or put in a special effort to get things done. You may feel you are on the edge of really progressing in your career but may feel you are held back by the need to develop your skills a little further. TIPS for Good Management can help you achieve this.

46 to 60

Wow! You are a superstar. You are probably highly organised with a super effective team of people round you who are enthusiastic and high performing. You no doubt ensure things are running smoothly, you are well in control and constantly on the lookout to improve yourself and the business. Your boss, staff, colleagues and customers alike think the world of you and love working with you. A highly motivated self aware individual who exudes confidence and contributes to the success of the business. You are a high achiever with a 5 star management career ahead of you. Are you a graduate of TIPS for Good Management, because our delegates often look like this! If you know someone who needs to be like you, TIPS for Good Management can help…….