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4 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Manager

Consider the following before choosing who will be your next manager.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Not everyone is fit to manage others. In my first-ever recruiting job, I swiftly became a top performer. My boss gave me managerial responsibilities shortly after.

I'm certain if you had asked anyone working for me at the time, they would have told you I was a terrible manager. I micromanaged, didn't know how to communicate effectively--and frankly--pissed a lot of people off. Not to mention I had also never received training or coaching from the company. 

Do you see the trend? I was a poor manager because I hadn't been given the map and tools to do so. Every company requires managers and should take the time to choose the right candidate. Take into account the following when picking a future manager at any level of your company.  

1. Your top performer may not be your top manager.  

By promoting your best sales rep, you may be gaining a poor manager and losing your top performer. To do so is a common practice in business. But just because someone succeeds in one aspect, doesn't mean they have the qualities of a great manager.  

Someone fit to manage others should be comfortable leading, communicating, able to remain impartial, and able to face tough situations. A worker may be efficient, hard-working, and a team player, but still may not exhibit the best qualities to manage. Consider keeping your top agent, engineer, designer, or other key employee where they are and finding someone with potential in those areas. If said top performer wants to grow into this role, be prepared to allocate time and money to train and coach them.  

2. Have they managed before?  

Every manager will have a first time. And like any skill, it requires years of experience to reach expertise, so when you enlist someone to manage who hasn't before, it will come with drawbacks. Of course, a first-time manager may be successful, but the chances aren't in their favor. 

A longtime friend of mine was promoted to his first management role when he was 27 at a small company. He was a top performer and naturally, they chose him. He admitted to me looking back that he was "way over his skis" and said he lacked the necessary leadership vocabulary, mindset, and maturity. He said he didn't think his direct reports learned anything from him, although they liked him. He also mentioned that he ignored conflict and remained focused on his own tasks. Because he was thrown into the role with no training, it's no surprise he wasn't succeeding.   

This is not uncommon in businesses. Less than five percent of businesses have adopted leadership development at all levels, according to Apollo Technical, an IT and engineering recruitment agency If a new manager receives guidance, it's likely from the previous manager, which perpetuates the cycle of poor management.  

Had my friend's role been given to an employee with previous managerial experience, the company would have kept its top performer and gained someone who was more likely to manage effectively.  

3. Will they be managing former peers? 

If the person you want to hire as the manager is currently a part of the team they will be managing, it can create friction in their new role. The relationship they've formed with their peers will be altered as they are now watching over the people they used to confide in. 

One option in this case is to instruct the manager who's moving out of the role, if that person is being promoted, to talk to the direct reports about the new possible manager who was their peer. Discuss their feelings and see what concerns, if any, they have. You may decide to move the future manager to a different team, where they can steer clear of peers and then hire another employee to manage the team at hand. Or you may decide to ease them into the role taking necessary precautions.  

4. What training and coaching are you willing to offer them? 

Whether hiring a first-time manager or someone who has come from a similar role, training is essential. Are you willing to provide a coach to guide them? You may not have budgeted for the extra spending, but it will save you money in the long run if it means the success of your hire.  

Managers are like the glue in every organization, so their performance greatly affects the culture of a company.  Once you hire someone you feel fits the qualities needed to manage a team, take the extra time to check in and stay involved in their process. They may have picked up bad habits from a lack of training or incorrect guidance. If you are proactive in coaching and monitoring their transition, they are more likely to grow and succeed.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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