Developing Managers

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

As your business grows you become more and more of a bottleneck.  No matter how many hours you work, and how many staff you hire, the things that only you know how to do, and the decisions that only you know how to make, become the things that slow everything else down and your business growth will tail off.

You must find a way to get things done through others.  You must develop a management team who can run the day-to-day while you focus once again on growing the business.Once you master delegation it makes your business scalable.

Many of your employees will feel uncomfortable about the changes you need to make to your business to continue growing – and may resist change as a result.  This applies to your managers as well.  They may feel more threatened by the changes than most employees.  They may not currently be called managers, or think of themselves as managers, or understand what managers are supposed to do.

It is usual as you consider the way you want the business to be in future to worry that you don’t have the right people to step up and take on more responsibility.  Perhaps they are not displaying the drive or commercial awareness that you would like, or perhaps they seem to avoid taking responsibility.  It may be that the people who got you to this point aren’t the people who will get you to your vision.  They may not have the ability or attitude to step up.  However, it could be that you do have the right people – it’s just that the way you have run the business so far has not allowed them to show what they can do.

You can think about factors that affect managerial performance like this:


Your managers will have some innate ability levels.  You will be largely wasting your time if you attempt to improve any of these.

They will also have some learned abilities that can be improved under the right circumstances:

  • The person concerned must have a desire to learn and improve (they must have the right attitude);
  • The organisation must provide an environment that encourages learning.  Improvement must result in rewards that matter to the person concerned and the necessary structure, purpose, measurements, support and resources must be provided (in short, the business must be systemised)

A manager’s attitude is largely innate.  You will be wasting your time trying to impart drive to someone who is habitually lazy, or a positive mindset to someone who is naturally gloomy.  What is easy to achieve, however, is the reverse of this.  If you put someone who is naturally positive and hard-working in a role where:

  • They feel out of their depth (they are working beyond their ability) or;
  • They do not have clear goals, authority and performance feedback (the organisational environment is poor ie the business is not systemised) then their attitude will rapidly deteriorate.

A systemised business has a shared vision, clear role definitions, SMART goals, empowerment, and appropriate delegated authority.  It also includes the way you manage; such factors as:

  • Effective, regular two-way communication;
  • Consistent, calm and steady leadership in pursuit of the plan;
  • Fair and evidence-based decisions

Note:  It is very difficult to lead change and develop your management team if you do not start with their respect, or they do not believe that your vision is desirable and achievable.

Your scope for action is therefore limited when it comes to transforming your managers into the people who are going to run your business for you:

Step 1.  If the environment is not conducive to high-performance (if the business is not systemised) then systemise it;

Step 2. If the business is systemised then if a particular under-performance is due to a deficiency in a learned ability then agree a personal development plan to overcome this.

Step 3.  If any under-performance remains then find a role they can do well and put someone else in their place, either promoting internally or by recruiting someone.

Note:  This tool “Manager Potential Assessment” can be used to assess your managers and indicate where and how improvement can be attempted.

If you want to learn more about systemising your business then why not register for our next event?

Connect with Nick Bettes Consulting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *