'I want to become a top manager! » - You speak to yourself, and even aloud. You imagine an elegant meeting and you're at the head of the table. Or you go along the corridor, surrounded with honor, respect and a little bit of fear. Or you give the order to your secretary, who is already ready to keep it in her mind. I hasten to disappoint you: it's almost impossible «to become»
a top-manager (you can «become» a fairy, but even not at once). And quite another thing, if your wish will sound like «I want to learn how to do the job of the leader. » That's constructive! And I have a few pieces of advice for people with a constructive approach.
Tip number one
Gather around yourself managers of the highest class «A»: in the field of corporate management «similar attracts similar» with great speed! Only the managers of class «A» are sufficiently ambitious and competent to surround themselves with highly qualified staff! If you 'give up the slack' and hire the head of the middle class - 'B', he'll surround himself with subordinates of the lowest class ― 'C' for fear of losing credibility over the more powerful subordinates. So the quality of human resource will inevitably decline in the company you head.
Tip number two
There're no independent problems in the management of the company: each problem is the result of other problems, and this, in its turn, causes the third problem. But a top manager, above all, is a great analyst and thoughtful diagnostician: he will be able to «untangle the ball»! To do this, write in the center of a large sheet of paper what worries you most of all at this stage of the company's existence. Now lay the cause-and-effect relationships in both directions: what is the 'root' - the cause of your problem, what is the 'berry' - a bitter consequence? Soon the whole list will be dotted with whimsical 'net' ... and you'll see over what it's necessary to start working first of all!
Tip number three
Does 'a culture of processes' or ' a culture of results' reign in your company? Ask yourself this question! Really, the whole staff tensely solves problems …But how many tasks have been solved? Would you, as a senior manager, want to simply 'have all being in business'? You wanted the result. So, compare the efforts of each Department/officer with value for business, created by it/him! Is it possible to apply epithets «slowly» and «little» to those whom you evaluated as «qualified» and «diligent»? Be exacting to yourself in the same way: every day, going home, ask yourself: 'What commercially valuable results have I reached today?' Only guided by philosophy of efficiency, you can win the competition.
Tip number four
Learn the basics of project management: companies don't only serve regular business processes, but also lead important projects - IT-projects, HR-projects, R & D-projects, projects for the collection of data, marketing analytics, and so on in the modern world. Project Management - a rational and effective discipline which helps top managers not to step on the 'rake' at the very first time! Always assign a project manager, project schedule, record in writing the results of the project objectives, create a risk-plan and a plan of intermediate results, all these allow to understand whether you're moving in the right direction , ― here are simple rules which will help you to avoid annoying problems.
Tip number five
Evaluate your employees according two categories: hard skills («hard' skills: skills, knowledge of industry) and soft skills («soft» skills: ability to negotiate and present the results of your job, to solve conflicts). Don't think that people, whose «hard» quite satisfies you will automatically have sufficient «soft»: after all it can turn out that a director of pharmacological factory is an excellent chemist, but he is incorrect with subordinates and is inconsistent in delegation of powers. Plan the training which 'will pull up' the personnel in both directions.
Tip number six
Analyze the number of employees in your company, dividing the staff into those who directly make profits - sales and production - and support services - IT, financiers, lawyers, corporate trainers and so on. Focus on the needs of the first, increase the efficiency of the latter. Isn't the staff of 'support group' too exaggerated? Cultivate a culture of recognition of 'centers of income' and subdue unjustified ambitions of all the others in your company: IT and a lawyer work for the business to be successful, and don't serve the strict licensing, and, more often prohibitive, instances.
Tip number seven
Remember that «corporate culture» isn’t T-shirts with the same logo and the traditional July BBQ. It is daily demanded 'set of rules' which explains what corporate 'good' and 'bad' is.
Some companies encourage 'lone wolves', in others it's more important to work in a team, somewhere you must scrupulously observe the schedule, and somewhere only results are relevant. Don't write in the 'Corporate Charter' something, in what you really don't believe yourself: corporate culture which observes formalities is useless.
Tip number eight
Bad if corporate training consists of episodic trainings: man-size 'wisdom' only once injected into the minds of the staff doesn’t lead to any positive result. It will be even worse if they talk about the right things which, in the eyes of the participants of the training have nothing in common with real life. Well, if you have a long-term training program, attached to daily working tasks. It's even better if formats of training alternate: classroom module, practical work, strategic session, business simulation, 'Q circle'. You won't buy ready-made corporate training, suitable exactly for your company- this shop works in the format Do It Yourself! But the effect will be tremendous.
Tip number nine
Your marketing and sales is what ordinary employees of commercial service know about marketing and sales. Teach them to understand the product excellently. 'Digitize' methods of work with objections. Give them a scenario for cross-selling conducting. Write a list of arguments which will help them to sell expensive goods more often than economic ones. Make 'An Analytics Tree': list of charts and tables which will be prepared for each level of customer service, clearly define criteria for the final report, getting on your desktop. Don't repeat again and again such beautiful words as 'mission' and 'strategy': make sure that your mission and strategy are clearly and concretely formulated, understood by all, «flow» in quarterly and daily tasks, - and, therefore, are working!
Tip number ten
Observe 'the principle of a hill with champagne': 'pour' all corporate technologies from top to bottom. Remember that any technology should not occur in a particular organizational node spontaneously - light and fade, but fall flat, as the flow of champagne on the hill of glasses, from the top level to the lowest. Corporate practice of making of presentations, negotiations and meetings conducting, making the correct e-mail and formulation of problems – these are technologies. It's impossible to achieve such a situation, when only certain employees or departments possess these technologies: you, as a top manager, will have to start with yourself.
More tipsfor top managers arein good books:
1. All you need to know about the production, I found in the garage of Joe: Simply and affordable about quality management
2. Break the system: Cure for heartburn management
3. Event agency 'Alpha' on the verge of collapse: Rules for constructing an effective service company