Do you believe your managers can really manage? Do you believe your managers have the skills to make their own department or team decisions? Do you believe your managers can outline their own department or team projects and budgets? Do you believe your managers can resolve their own team problems and make sound decisions concerning their teams and talent? If you really believed your managers could manage, you wouldn’t be involved in so many of their management-level decisions and actions. You’d trust your managers to manage.
Your level of involvement in your managers’ actions and decisions is an indicator of your level of trust in their management skills.
The more confident you are in your managers’ skills, the less involved you are in their decision-making. Yes, you need to be available to provide them with your counsel, insights, and to brainstorm, but your role is to support their lead in the decision-making process – not take the lead in their decision-making process. Their responsibility as managers is to manage. To effectively manage, managers should be able to plan and manage projects (strategic and operational) and budgets. Managers should be able to think through and make department or team-level decisions. Managers should be able to develop, manage, and support their teams. These are all fundamental management skills.
Now, even though these are all fundamental management skills, many managers are weak in some if not all of them. Why? From my experience, it’s typically because of one of four reasons:
Failure to Clarify Expectations
You’ve not been honest with your managers and clarified individually with each what specific skills to develop to more competently manage independently. You’ve trained them to believe they were doing enough.
Failure to Coach, Support, and Hold them Accountable
You’ve not coached them, helped them refine their draft reports or emails to enhance clarity and achieve the right tone and actions. You’ve not walked them through how to think through and analyze problems, projects, and budgets. You’ve not role played with them to help them gain skills and levels of comfort in dealing with team members, other managers, board members, vendors or customers. You’ve not held them accountable to use their new skills and insights effectively. You’ve trained them to remain dependent upon your expertise and skills.
You’ve not relinquished control and allowed your managers to fully take on their management responsibilities. You’ve continued to step in and act as surrogate or co-manager instead of an advisor. You’ve trained them to defer to you.
You’ve rebuked or disciplined them in the past for making management-level decisions without consulting you beforehand. You’ve trained them not to take initiative.
In short, many managers aren’t competent managers because they’ve been trained not to be.
Many managers aren’t competent because they’ve been trained not to be.
If you believe your managers can really manage. That’s great! Then get out of their way and let them do what they’re supposed to be able to do given their pay and position titles.
However, if you don’t believe your managers can really manage, which of the four reasons above identify your next move as a leader?
Copyright MMXIX - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about me on LinkedIn!