I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review about how we can better assess whether a candidate is ready for a management role. It also talked about some of the skills a manager requires that should be the basis for recruitment.

Another article, the source of which I wish I could remember but can’t, spoke to the over-investment large corporations make in executive-level training.

My recent observations (granted, not scientific), support the notion that we reward good performance with successive promotions, often to a management level, but that companies neglect to train those new managers how to manage.  It’s as though we believe that good management skills are somehow intuitive, or gained through osmosis. My observation is that these skills are gained through trial and error or worse, not gained at all, leading to inefficient, unproductive teams, poor organizational culture, unhappy frontline staff, and ultimately, high turnover rates.

Christy DeMont’s article about effective leadership is great reading. And it caused me to reflect on the next level in the organization – the managers – those who are responsible for translating strategy into action.  It feels to me as though there’s a training void there; too many managers trying hard to manage people and budgets, relinquish their staff role, motivate and guide employees (who might have previously been colleagues) – all without any help in the transition.

Failure to achieve corporate goals is typically not a failure of vision, and often not even a failure of strategy – it is a failure of execution.  Perhaps some of the resources dedicated to executive-level training might be more helpful at the management level.

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