Management is what creates and sustains an organisation. Without good management any business will struggle. The trouble is that there is much to learn. While continued learning is essential there are 10 skills that every manager needs if they are to succeed.
Without a plan, nothing is achieved. As a manager you need to be competent in business planning, project planning, workload planning and contingency planning.
Communication covers writing, speaking and listening. You must be competent in all 3 areas. Many managers excel when it comes to speaking or writing. I wonder how many managers you know who have mastered listening.
3. Decision Making
You might get a good view sitting on the fence. Your job as a manager is to get results. If you procrastinate and avoid taking decisions, nothing moves forward. Be willing to take decisions and recognise that you will get a fair share of them wrong.
We all love doing certain things. Unfortunately as managers it is all too easy to hold on to tasks that they know they should no longer be doing. We like things that we know how to do and there is little risk of problems. If you don’t start to delegate, you are likely to end up failing as a manager.
5. Problem Solving
You and your team will encounter problems. Others will look to you as the manager to come up with solutions. Mastering problem solving will differentiate you from the team and show your boss that you can sort things out.
Recruitment of staff is probably one of the single biggest financial investments that any business makes. Yet many managers have never been trained in interviewing potential hires. Take the time to ensure that you develop these skills. Interviewing with someone very experienced and competent at the start is a great way of developing your skills as you have back up and can get feedback.
Staff appraisal done well is a source of motivation. Make sure that you understand your organisation’s process, are thoroughly prepared and conduct appraisal meetings professionally.
8. Poor Performance Management
Sooner or later you will have an employee who is not performing. Many managers choose to ignore the warning signals. By doing so they are building up future problems. Deal with it early on, stating clearly the standards expected, where the employee is falling short and the improvements required. Make sure everything is written down and agreed with the employee. In tricky or complex cases seek advice from the Human Resources Department.
You are responsible for getting results through others. Keeping the team motivated, even when things are tough is essential. Simple things like saying thank you, praising and being positive can make a huge difference.
While many managers wish that the Finance Department will take care of everything, this is not reality. As a manager you spend lots of company money and may generate some of it. Start by thinking about how your actions and decisions impact on the finances of the business and you will be a step ahead of most.
There are a host of skills to master as a manager. These, in my experience are 10 that you must have to prosper and realise your true potential. What slse would you add to the list?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.