Management – a fabulous opportunity to advance your career, but also a challenging responsibility. What steps can you take to ensure you make it a successful career move?
When management comes your way, how are you going to tackle the challenges of running a team? How can you manage your team in such a way that you generate great customer service and achieve top results? How can you help to get everyone onside to achieve the team’s goals?
These were just some of the questions which Frank Dolan, Chartered FCSI, Founder and owner of LauriemiL Business Development, addressed on a recent course for the CISI. Using a combination of practical advice, lessons from management gurus and his extensive experience, Frank took the course through some effective management techniques.
Listed below are a few points he highlighted as key to success in management:
Every business has a culture – either one that is encouraged or one that develops and that statement is in itself a warning. If you don’t take steps to create the right culture and ethos within your team, don’t be surprised if you find yourself faced with difficulties arising from a culture that has simply grown up in spite of you.
How do you help create the right culture? The first step is to recognise that your team are your customers and they in turn have customers that they serve – these may be retail clients, end users of a service, internal ‘buyers’ of the team’s output: quite simply whoever it is that benefits from what you do.
While you must look to create an environment where your team can flourish and create a culture that suits everyone, Lou Gerstner, former Chairman and CEO of IBM, emphasised:
“In the end, management doesn’t change culture. Management invites the workforce itself to change the culture” - Lou Gerstner
Teamwork is essential for fostering innovation – there are no ‘bit players’ in an effective team. It sometimes may seem there’s no room for innovation in financial services or that compliance is too big a hurdle to jump with a new idea, but this is wrong. No-one knows what ideas are in someone’s head (and nor may they, ironically) until you create an environment where they can come out. And if you think compliance cannot accommodate new ideas, Nick Hungerford FCSI, founder and CEO of Nutmeg, can tell you about his positive experiences with the then FSA.
This creation of the right culture and working environment is essential to your success as a manager and you will have to reinforce the message regularly as well as introduce it again every time you take on a new employee or take charge of a new group. It’s an ongoing task but don’t shirk it.
“The problem with communication ... is the ILLUSION that it has been accomplished.” - George Bernard Shaw
If communication fails, if your message does not land or does not land as intended, it is always YOUR fault. It is NEVER the fault of the listener or recipient – you are expected to be clear with your communications no matter what medium is being used. You cannot blame ‘poor listening skills’ – other people’s listening skills may indeed be poor, but that’s YOUR problem as the communicator.
Effective communication relies on the mastery of speaking and presenting, but also on effective listening. When managing it is useful to remember the following from Barry Gibbons, former CEO of Burger King, emphasising the relative importance of these different skills to effective communication:
“We were born with two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. That’s four organs to receive information and one to give it out. That’s a pretty good ratio to work with for a sound-sensitive management process and (roughly) the opposite of what most executives feel is an effective communication mix” - Barry Gibbons
These tips are just a few of the many insights that Frank offered on his most recent course. To book yourself onto his next management fundamentals course on Wednesday 30 September go to cisi.org/courses.