What Are the Key Manager Roles to Master?
For almost three decades we have asked employees to describe their best and worst bosses to help determine what sets a great manager apart from the pack and the associated key Manager Roles to Master. Based upon the data, we believe that the most effective managers excel at the hundreds of daily interactions and decisions that get the best out of their people in a way that makes sense to both the company and the people.
The best managers uncover what is truly unique about each person on their team and then do a masterful job across varied situations of balancing the sometimes-conflicting needs of customers, employees, leaders, shareholders, partners, and regulators. In short, the best managers create the right environment — the strategy and the culture — to set their team up for success.
Role and Purpose of Manager
Today’s best managers create an environment that encourages their employees to develop their own strengths, contribute effectively to the common goal, and work with team mates so that the whole is greater than its parts. They know the manager roles to master.
The best managers enable their direct reports to perform at the peak of their abilities in order to achieve or exceed the goals of the team. How? By operating in the following manager roles to master taken from our new manager training workshop:
Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing managers. You will know your managers are headed in the right direction strategically when the team’s plan for success is:
— Understood and articulated by all team members.
— Consistently executed across the team.
— Perceived as implementable in your unique culture and circumstances.
— Supported by the right level of resources to execute it.
Your workplace culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing managers. You will know your managers are headed in the right direction culturally when the team’s cultural norms are:
— Simple, emotional, authentic, and personal.
— Consistently modeled by the manager and team members – especially high performers.
— Formally and informally measurable.
— Explicitly aligned to move the desired business outcomes forward.
— Clear about what constitutes both performance success and failure
You will know your managers are headed in the right direction from a talent perspective when they:
— Retain most of their team.
— Ensure their direct reports have the skills, knowledge, and resources to be successful.
— Have a team that consistently makes the extra discretionary effort in their jobs.
— Can show that 75% or more of their team meets or exceeds performance targets.
After all, leaders should model the way they want their team to behave.
Our Organizational Alignment Research found that the timely and free flow of information is one of the top five most important ingredients required to create high performance.
Accordingly, managers need to be able to connect regularly with their team members to understand what makes them tick and to keep them up to date on what matters most.
One-on-ones are vital to staying connected with individual employees and essential to effectively managing performance. By the same token, managers need to develop and maintain larger networks across the company. In this way, the team can coordinate its activities with other teams so they can operate across organizational boundaries.
And, if the manager is not expert in the areas the employees need, they help make a connection to a colleague who can support them.
A wise manager knows that success depends not upon a manager’s ability to control but upon their ability to develop their team members to perform at their peak.
When done right, continuous improvement becomes a way of working.
You will know your managers are headed in the right direction if team members trust that their manager has their back.
The Bottom Line
As you take on the mantle of manager, aspire to the redefined role of manager as someone who sets the direction, models the way, loves learning and teaching, encourages innovative thinking and open communication, and challenges their team to perform at their peak. Be sure you understand the manager roles to master.
To learn more about how to succeed as a manager, download The Top 4 High Performing Management Metrics That Matter Most
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