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Jesse Jacoby

In his book, Seeing What Others Don’t, Gary Klein retells the story of a seminar attendee. It illustrates perfectly the contrast between what managers should and should not do if they want to be fully engaged with their employees.
The person in question said that when she went into her boss’ office, he was focused on his computer screen; but as soon as he saw that she had come in, he stopped what he was doing …

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Home » Employee Engagement, Recently Published Articles, Human Capital Management, Leadership, Management, Talent Management

Bridging The Management Gap

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management-gapTraditionally, we view promotions as a linear progression through a company–starting in the mail room, for instance, and working your way up to an office corner. However, a recent study by Gallup has shown that only one in ten workers have the necessary skills to manage others, and a mere two in ten have functioning managerial skills. The fact is that while many workers may view promotions as their rightful reward for toiling in the ranks, not everyone is cut out to be an efficient manager.

Having an inefficient manager can also be more damaging to your company than you might think. Three out of four employees say that their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job, and a poor manager can lead to unproductive employees who don’t put in maximum effort, who take sick time off when they’re not really sick, and who take breaks more frequently. At worst, a bad manager can cause an employee to quit.

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The good news is that while not everyone is born with managerial skills, interviewers and hiring managers can identify managerial potential in internal candidates. These “high potential employees” can be identified by their positive energy, their ability to confront problems, their actionable personalities, and more.

For the internal candidates who want to develop their managerial skills (and translate those skills into a promotion), showing assertiveness, collaborative relationships, and accountability are key to being noticed for a promotion. Hiring managers also look for strong communication skills, which are key for motivation and team-building, as well as the ability to deliver constructive criticism and manage your time wisely.

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Employees can also experiment with using different leadership styles according to what the situation calls for. For example, a commanding leadership style, which demands compliance, is best-suited for when a culture needs to be changed quickly or problematic employees need to be dealt with. A Steve Jobs-esque visionary style, meanwhile, helps a team to change direction.

Sure, it may be true that 70% of workers don’t have the necessary managerial talent necessary for an effective promotion; however, interviewers and hiring managers can identify those high potential employees with the appropriate skill sets, and ambitious employees can make a point to develop the skills and relationships that hiring managers look for. A company becomes stronger and more successful because of its employees, who are the backbone of the organization; by finding and hiring exceptional managers, a company can become more efficient and more profitable while also improving its company culture and providing employees with inspirational leaders.

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Jeff Shuck
Jeff Shuck is the CEO of Plenty Consulting. For over 20 years Jeff has been a thought leader in the nonprofit space. He excels in brand positioning and mission-based leadership, leading the industry into new territory with peer-to-peer fundraising and other nonprofit strategies. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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