What does it take to manage other managers? How can you make sure they perform to their potential? Are they truly a management “team”? Lets look at some powerful ideas on how to lead and motivate your managers.
Managing managers should consist of three components: Vision, Plan, and Implementation. It is imperative that ALL three exist. Sounds simple, right? As any experienced Director, VP or President will tell you this is a little tougher to do than it first appears. Management teams need to feel they can contribute as well.
1.) Vision – Clear Direction
Your managers need to understand not only the “500 foot level” but also a more in depth “50 foot level” on any project and/or organizational direction presented. You should always offer a culture, environment, that inspires the flow of new and interesting project ideas and solutions. You need to keep the dialogue between yourself and managers from becoming “one-way”. This dialogue should also embrace innovation and initiative… risk and change. Ultimately it should lead to them offering their own ideas on enhancing and executing a plan, and do so without you babysitting them on every step of the way.
Questions to Think About…
1. Do your managers embrace your organization’s vision? You need to be an evangelist. If you can’t do it then bring someone in to help. It is extremely important that they FEEL the vision.
2. Are they on board with your core beliefs, values, and mission? What you believe is not necessarily what they believe or understand. Make sure this message is clear and focused to them. Do not take this for granted.
“It is extremely important that they FEEL the vision.”
3. Do they have a clear precise image of what the benefits are when the business achieves its vision? What’s the end game? How does it affect them personally?
2.) Measurement – Plan
How do you measure the success of your managers? Where do they get their definition for success? Are they achieving revenue goals based on clear metrics? Are they staying on budget? Do they even know what that is? This is not an easy task. A plan is needed…
A sales/business plan should at the very minimum include these three items:
1. Short and long-term goals for your managers.
2. Realistic metrics and targets to measure their progress to plan.
3. Specific, objective feedback on an ongoing basis, informing, enlightening and helping your managers improve their performance.
3.) Implementation – Managing
If you’re staying awake at night worrying about your sales managers performance take action!
1. Look for teams that are missing deadlines and/or having unusually high absenteeism or turnover. If so correct immediately. See 2 and 3 below for ideas on how to correct. If you do not see any of these signs most likely the manager is doing a pretty good job.
“Keep in mind… employees usually don’t quit businesses, they quit bosses.”
2. Are employees engaged and involved? Are they excited by their work? Do they appear to have a clear idea of the specific tasks or projects they need to accomplish and why? If not talk with your manager and find out what is going on. Ask him/her specifically what they have already implemented and why that doesn’t seem to be working. Look to them for recommendations but offer some coaching to help get the ball rolling. Resist the temptation to get directly involved or, worse, to fix the problems yourself.
3. Communicate with the employees directly without their manager. Ask questions like “when was the last time they talked with their manager”? “Are you happy with your position and team.” You will most likely be surprised by the candid feedback.
Is your own behavior inspiring for others to emulate? Be an example, be great, be successful, be the manager you want to work for. Manage your managers.Photos courtesy of 123RF