This blog was inspired by an article I read this week by Ann Francke the chief executive of the CMI. The article finished with these words, “Avoid the temptation to wander on to the field.” What preceded this was a piece about the importance of leaders remembering that they are paid to think, not to do!
This struck a chord with me as in the past I have written about football managers and the fact that some of the very best footballers have failed miserably as managers. On the other hand some of our greatest football coaches were themselves, only average players.
In this piece, rather than at leadership level I’m going to look at a similar analogy but from the position of a new manager. In my experience the biggest hurdle any new manager faces is that they know they can do the job they are asking others to do much better than them. They also know that it is quicker to do something themselves than to teach someone else to do it to the same standard. As most business operate to deadlines there is always time pressure, so the managers do more hands on work themselves at the expense of training! Catch 22!
Most businesses are managed and judged at the highest levels by numbers and KPI statistics. These statistics then dictate policy and procedure. When managers are only judged by numbers that becomes their only focus. The fear of not hitting a number is why managers go ‘hands on’ rather than teach. They think “What’s the point in teaching others, if we don’t get this order out I won’t have a job next week.”
Junior managers also have the habit of telling people what to do but without ever explaining why? When this happens the employee will often think they can do the job simpler or better their own way, without understanding implications further down the line. This leads to errors and delay and frustration and anger for the businesses owner, manager and the employee who “wasn’t told that”.
Here are my top tips to solve the dilemma above:
So to quote Ann Francke but in my own way, when in management, “Keep off the grass”.
Head of Training
(Image by Jeroen van Oostrom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.