“We’re all becoming managers now.”
So read the headline reporting the findings of a new study conducted by The Work Foundation in Britain and reported by Nic Patton of Management Issues News
The study concludes that managerial jobs for men have grown by 12% and professional jobs by 8% in the decade between 1995 and 2005. Gains for women have been even stronger, 30% for managerial positions and 15% for professional positions respectively.
While this study did not survey workers in the United States, I suspect — given U.S. companies’ penchant for de layering and de-centralizing — the trend is equally valid. And not without some discomfort, either. “Economic change is never painless,” says Ian Brinkley, a foundation director. “However, a more knowledge intensive world of work, where people work with their heads more than their hands, appears… to be a relatively benign development for workers.”
Benign, perhaps? But not without personal impact! The shift to more management responsibility means that more and more men and women are assuming roles of responsibility for others. These folks must now plan, delegate, coach, and develop employees in a fast changing environment that often may not prepare them for this management role.
Still today, managers are promoted on the virtues of their technical competence in their respective disciplines. That means if you are a proficient engineer, you qualify for management. Same goes for capable accountants, designers, marketers, and the like. The American management model pushes people, often without really asking, into management roles. Worse, it does not teach them how to be managers.
So what’s a manager to do? Go to management school, of course. But the option of investing time and money to obtain an MBA is not an option for all. And besides, in our 24/7 culture, you must do something, anything… even manage.
But take heart. There is a ray of hope. My blog is designed to help managers manage more effectively, especially when the clock is running, the heat is on, and the deadline is looming. My intention will be to give readers tips and insights, guidelines and prescriptives. I’ll also share some stories along the way to help folks become more effective managers.
My bias is straightforward; I believe that managers can and should be leaders. That means my advice flows from the leadership perspective. I believe that effective managers are those who lead from the front. They set the right example and from that mindset everything flows.
What’s my background? I am a leadership consultant and coach as well as the author of six books on leadership. In my more than two decades of working with managers in organizations large and small, I have picked up some best practices – as well as common sense ideas – that I would like to pass along.
I will do my best to post something at least once a week, and what’s more I’ll be checking for your replies. Many of which, I am certain, will spark ideas for future blogs.
I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do. Till next time, lead on!