Managing Manager’s is an art, and it can be perfected only through practice, having said that some people are born with skills that allow them to manage people and teams.
In every individual’s career path, they will come across different kinds of subordinates, some with a certain set of appreciable skills which can propel them to grow as managers, and some who can never be managers and can only operate at a level where they can only perform as an individual.
For a manager to manage a flow of talent, who are each different and unique in their functioning is extremely demanding and mentally stressful, and require training and guidance from their Boss / Leader to help them adapt to the role, and get groomed to be an efficient manager.
It is even more a challenging task if the new manager has been promoted from being an individual employee to the manager of a group of such individuals. The radar of responsibilities changes drastically while the individual is uplifted from their peer group to the authoritative side of the organisation.
Managers are individuals who are at the core of the organisation, and they need to master the art of managing people. Managing a manager is even more challenging as a leader one has to see whether the manager is producing good work at one level and at another level the leader has to see whether they are extending the required support to their teams for them to perform.
A few simple check points for a boss to become an acceptable leader of their managers
- Lead by example, live it daily to become your manager’s role model
- Recognise and appreciate their efforts in public
- Provide adequate feedback and constructive criticism, and treat them in the way you want to them to treat their teams
- Motivate them to achieve individual & team goals
- Try to understand how they are mentoring their teams, and coach them if they are missing something
- Interact with your manager’s team, get to know them, gauge their progress but leave the final decision to their manager
- Avoid micro-management & give them their space – every manager has his own style, if he does not have one, allow him the space to cultivate it!
- Never criticise them in front of their teams
- Create accountability as an individual and as a team
- Align their goals with that of the organisation
- Work closely with each other and put them through the same training / coaching that you would go through to groom the manager for tomorrow
- Create a culture that manifests the model of team work, and empowers the team to function as ‘WE’
- Take regular feedback on your leadership from your managers to ensure whether you are on the path to becoming a perfect Role Model
Managing managers is definitely not an easy task as they are self-made individuals who aim at progressing in their career. Growth and opportunity are extremely important for them and it is important for leaders to understand each manager’s ambition, and groom them to become leaders fit for the future role, with a succession plan for them, and coach the manager to follow the same principles with his teams as well.