It’s not easy being a manager. Where, in times of trouble, does the business buck get stopped? With the manager. Who, when things go well, ends up with the burden of expectation that, from now on, above-average performance becomes the norm? The manager. And who gets nailed from all sides, when those new averages can’t be maintained? Got it in one.
The manager is responsible for the performance, or non-performance of all staff – despite the fact that, as often as not, the manager has had promotion thrust upon them, pulled, like Macbeth, into a web of forces beyond their control. This, then, is where management development comes in. Management development allows companies to train their (often reluctant) managers – giving them the tools to make their lives a lot easier and company productivity a lot better.
Management development, like most work-related training programs, can be undertaken with minimal disruption to the daily running of an office or store. Good management development courses are tailored to the needs of the company in question – so one management development model might be on-site training for store managers, while another might involve single-day seminars for mid-level office management. In all cases, management development training focuses on a Sun Tzu-esque single-minded issue – teaching normal people to lead.
Leadership is the holy grail of good management and the cornerstone of all management development training. If a person can be taught the art, or secrets, of good leadership, he or she will be well fitted to manage any team, in any situation. So we find that all stripes, variations and lengths of management development course revel in titles like “fundamentals of leadership”, “right track to leadership” – and so on. The problems outlined in the first paragraph of this article – uneven performance, employee behavior – are all controllable, and resolvable, by recourse to strong leadership. Management development makes this happen – which makes management development as indispensable for every business as having managers in the first place.
Think about it this way. At some point, every manager was a non-manager, just like every king or queen was once a little boy or girl. Kings and queens have the luxury of being slowly trained into their position – taught bearing; manners; morals; and conduct. Managers have their greatness thrust upon them, often with no preliminary warning or coaching – and businesses, by definition, are too busy to help them. Management development courses, run by companies who know what they are doing, give new management all that preliminary coaching in a scientifically-developed, easy to swallow form. Transforming them, in days or a few weeks, into the leaders every business needs to pull its trade forward.