You do not become a manager overnight, nor will training, or books make you one, but they may help.
My wife discovered that she can no longer run her online psychology business without help. I’ve been telling her that for years, but she needed to discover this for herself.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s always been good at working with others on joint ventures. Her difficulty has been that she’s always attempted to do all the practical ‘grunt’ work herself. You can’t do that and also get into the creative projects you’ve got in your head.
The problem is that when you’re used to doing your own thing, like Mrs. Bray, it’s difficult to jump straight in to managing other people’s foibles, talents and time. For this reason she asked me to jump in and manage her new staff and business strategies.
manager, or servant leader?
One of the difficulties business owners face when taking on staff is knowing enough about the tasks expected of people to know that they’re doing their jobs, but at the same enabling people to self-manage themselves so that they can exercise their skills and creativity.
David Ogilvy, founder and Chairman of the advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather was well aware of these difficulties. This is why he created his famous advert for Trumpeter Swans. Ogilvy was a great believer in employing people whose talents exceeded his own, but he was a talented all-rounder and a good judge of people’s strengths and weaknesses.
Frankly, I find the challenge both exciting and intimidating. It’s been some time since I was a hands on manager, rather than a management consultant, which is a different animal. You see a consultant stands outside of your organization and views what’s happening dispassionately. She, or he, can see your strengths and weaknesses, as well as problems with your processes. A consultant detects and helps you with things in your business, and personal life, that you cannot see or do not know yourself.
A great manager is able to also do this for the staff for whom they are accountable. Indeed a manager is best when they are Servant Leaders who develop their people both in skills as well as in character.
When I looked on my hard drive I discovered a number of resources, that I had authored some years ago, to help me make a start. Here’s one of them:
Right click on the image to download ‘A Pocket Book on Leadership’