The 5 Critical Areas any Successful Manager Should Focus on to Improve
The development of Managers and Leaders is key for the results of any organization, regardless its size, activity, or geographical area where they operate.
Although this view is widely accepted, still many organizations only focus on developing the 'technical part' of their managers and leaders as it relates to their area of responsibility. So basically, they want to have great engineers in engineering leading positions, great sales persons leading the sales teams, or the best financial experts leading their financial departments.
In many cases, despite having experts on leadership positions, the results achieved are below expectations. And this comes from the lack ability of those managers and leaders to achieve results together with their teams.
So, in which areas should managers and leaders develop their skills to achieve the best results? Find it out in this video.
To your growth and success.
The success of any organization is limited by the ability of its managers and leaders to achieve results together with their teams. Therefore, the development of those managers and leaders is, or should be, a key priority for any organization.
The problem here is that in many, in most of the cases, that development is narrow-focused on the skills of the managers or leaders related to their area of activity, rather than having a much broader perspective and multidisciplinary development.
So, for example, if one organization wants to have an engineering manager they look for an expert in that area, and they would like that person to be the expert for engineering, forgetting that that engineering manager will drive the engineering team and the results will come from the actions of their team.
So managers and leaders need to develop themselves in different areas. I have identified five key and basic areas that any successful manager or leader needs to develop themselves. Let's review them.
Area #1 is related to the expertise or the knowledge, let's call the knowledge, of your role.
So if you are an engineering manager like the example before, you need to know something about engineering, you need to know the current challenges, you need to know the key indicators, you need to know the technology trends, you need to know the key players, you need to know how your team, from an engineering point of view, can provide more value to your organization and to your Customers. But you don't need to be the subject matter expert. This is the mistake that many organizations make. You don't need to be a subject matter expert.
The second area to focus on is improving your relationships with your key Customers.
I have seen many managers who seldom talk to their Customers and they just talk to them when there are problems, to ask some favor, or to give some explanation. So you have to develop personal and professional relationships with them, you have to understand their needs, you have to understand their pain points, and you have to look ahead and see how you can prepare yourself, and your organization, to keep supporting them for the incoming challenges for them.
And by doing that way, by proceeding that way, those relationships will become stronger and that partnership will provide a higher level of results for both organizations, yours and your Customer's.
The third area to focus on is obviously your team,
Without a committed, engaged, enthusiastic team, you will not achieve a very good level of results. So your focus has to be on creating the environment so that your team will perform at their best, and that nobody would like to leave, even your next-door competitor would offer them a better salary.
That would be the ideal situation, because if you lose one talent from your team that would represent a dip in your performance, current or future performance, and you cannot afford this; you need your team committed and engaged together with you.
The fourth area to look at and develop is yourself.
You are a professional, and you can be compared to a professional athlete, where they are every day sharpening their skills, getting support, getting feedback, and practicing to get better and better when they get on the field.
So you have to identify which skills you need to keep improving, to keep getting better, so you will perform better in your field when the daily challenges will come up.
And the fifth area that you need to focus on to get sustainable and consistent high level of results is your well-being.
You have to be physically and emotionally fit, and ready to face any challenges when the challenges will come. If you are not physically and emotionally fit you will break down and you will not perform at the level that you need to perform, so you need, you have to identify those habits, those actions that you can take on yourself so you can get better and better, and prepare yourself for the daily performance that you have to do in your organization.
So these are the five areas that we need to keep developing ourselves.
And I would like today to propose an exercise to you. I would like today to ask you to rate yourself from one to five, where you do see yourself in each one of these areas, where you see yourself in the knowledge of your business, in the area of activity of your business, where you are on the relationships with your Customers, where you are on developing your team, where you are on developing yourself, and where you are on your physical and emotional state.
And I would like you to plot this, to draw that on a piece of paper, something similar to this:
and so you can see that is similar to a wheel (we can call it your professional wheel). And just imagine: if that would be a physical wheel, how does that wheel help you move forward and achieve results?
I have not seen your results, but in many cases, if that would be a physical wheel, that wheel actually would not turn, or would turn with high difficulty. So our development, our personal development has to be focused on balancing that wheel, and making sure that our professional wheel is much better balanced, and rounded, so it will help us to move ourselves in the direction of the results that we need.
I would love to hear from you about which areas you have identified to improve your 'balancing the wheel', and which actions you are committed to taking to improve and expand those spokes of the wheel, so the wheel will be much more balanced for you. If you need any support on balancing that wheel we can have a conversation.
Hopefully, that was helpful for you. Thank you very much for listening today. Take care.