22 August 2017

Guest blog from Acuity Training.

“It’s not about money.  It’s about the people that you have and how they are led.” Steve Jobs

If you want to grow your business you have to learn to manage.  No matter how effective and driven you are, if you want your business to grow you have to learn to manage people effectively.  Entrepreneurs often find people management especially challenging.

When they are starting their business they do everything.  The business is their baby and there is nothing that they won’t do for it.  Handing things over as their business scales is tough.  They no longer know the details of everything that moves in their business. Tasks may now be completed in a different way.  Their success is no longer dependent on their work alone, and they may feel like they are losing control.

And they are – but they are losing control of the smaller things and, if they are getting their people management right, the things that they are less good at.  They still have their hands on the pieces where they can make the biggest difference to their business. It’s just that they no longer have their hands on the parts of the business that don’t play to their strengths, or are more repetitive.

So what is the secret of management?  Management is a multi-faceted thing and everyone does it differently.  As you grow as a manager, you develop your own individual style.

However, at heart there are about 10 keys to being a great manager.  The infographic below from Acuity Training covers them.

Trying to learn all ten at the same time is a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose. It’s too much to manage.

As ever the 80/20 rule applies and it may help to start by focusing on the two disciplines that could have the most effect.

  1. Communication

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and professional success.”  Paul Meyer.

Communication is the foundation of management. If you can’t communicate clearly and effectively with your team then there is no way that you can give and get feedback, set goals (see below for more) and encourage and motivate your team.  Remember the joy (and agony) of management is that you are now responsible for your team’s work and output.

Your team aren’t mind readers and they know less about the business than you do. It is up to you to explain what you would like them to do, how and why. If they don’t do things as you would like, or if they don’t prioritise in the way that you would like them to, that’s down to you – you’re not communicating clearly.

  1. Set Goals

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.”  Earl Nightingale.

Without clear goals it’s very difficult for your team to know what they should be prioritising. It’s also not clear who should be doing what. It’s all a recipe for frustration, wasted effort and muddle.  People need to be given clear goals to focus on and work towards. It also gives them a feeling of accomplishment, achievement and ensures that they are moving the business towards its goals as quickly as possible.

Both communication and setting goals are simple, but not easy – as is true with most of management.  Fear not though – Management is a learned skill not something that you are born with. It’s also something that lots of people have mastered before you, so there are lots of resources out there to help you along the way.







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