Are You Ready to Be a Manager?

August 31, 2016 Brian Beattie

Hiring a new employee is always a bit of a gamble. Will this person be a good fit in the organization, do they really have the skills we’re looking for, and is this the right role for them – all questions that arise during recruitment. But when you’re recruiting a manager, things get even trickier. Managing a team is much different than being a team member. Whether you are promoting a current employee to a managerial role or hiring someone externally, here’s what to look for to determine if someone is ready to be a manager.

Do They Understand What it means to be a Manager?

When a person becomes a manager, they are no longer a team member and instead are a team leader. Thus, they have a whole new set of duties and responsibilities and their work is a lot less hands off than before. This can be an adjustment for a lot of people so beware of these critical mistakes:

  • Doing tasks that should be delegated to the team
  • Under communicating to team members
  • Taking over a task that was previously delegated because you feel you can do it better
  • Micromanaging your team in a way that stifles your team members

Before you promote someone internally or hire someone externally, ask the candidate what their idea of management is. If they think that being a manager just means an increase in pay and seniority, then they are not ready for the role.

How Are Their Soft Skills?

Having high emotional intelligence (EQ) is beneficial to a manager. Empathy towards your staff and being self-aware of your own limitations is also critical for success. Most importantly you need to know how to interact with your team. We’re not saying you need to be extremely likeable, outgoing, and high energy to be a manager. But you do need to have at least basic people skills because nobody likes a distant manager that they can’t interact with.

Besides EQ, managers need to have the ability to see the big picture. Can they look beyond the current situation and see how the strategy will play out in a month? 6 months? One year and beyond? The mark of a good manager is someone who can see future pain points and take the corrective action now to avoid any possible ramifications.

Knowledge of the Organization

Potential managers really need to understand the organization and the role they are stepping into. What is the corporate culture like? Who will I be working with? What are the company’s basic policies and procedures? What constraints will I face in this role? What resources are there to help me and my team succeed? Finding the answers to these questions will give candidates a better picture if they are ready to be a manager and if being a manager at this organization is the right fit for them.

Success in Their New Role

Once you’ve hired on a new manager, it’s important that you give them some tools for success in the new role. To start, assign a mentor to the manager. At Volaris, each of the GMs of our business units are assigned to a portfolio manager that also acts as their mentor. Also, check in with your managers from time to time to ensure that this is the right role for them. Finally, provide training and development opportunities to help your first time managers build their leadership skills.

About the Author

Brian Beattie

Brian Beattie is the Chief Financial Officer at Volaris Group. Besides overseeing the financial health of the company, he works closely with Volaris’ legal and M&A team on all new acquisitions. Brian is an expert on every stage of the M&A process – from sending out the non-disclosure agreement to executing the sales purchase agreement.

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