Now That I Am a Manager... What Are My Priorities?

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Now That I Am a Manager... What Are My Priorities?
Sunday ELKANA (koachkonsult), Manager, Nigeria

Most Business Owners, Managers and Team Leaders struggle with their priorities.

There are many of these priorities. These include but not limited to personal production ( e.g., a sales person moving to sales manager), training of the team members, reviewing our key indicators on key activities that lead to goal achievement, recruiting and selection activities and to provide a positive motivational atmosphere for the team. These are just a few pulls and tugs on our priorities as we build a team capable of achieving the business unit’s goals.

How do I approach my many priorities as a manager / leader?

Here is a suggested list of priorities and routines that you may find challenging or surprising at first.

1. Stabilization: Always ensure your unit is stable and capable of meeting its business obligation. If you were a restaurant manager you may look at certain things: clean up from previous day, staff in place to carry out daily functions, parking area cleaned or plowed, supplies for day’s menu in place etc. If any of these indicators indicate a problem you need to take appropriate action to stabilize the situation- once this is done you can move onto the next priority.

2. New Hire Training: A new person can not provide a return on the investment until they are trained. As a professional leader you need to know where they are in their development process and get them up to speed as soon as possible.

3. Team Development and Communications: There are regular meetings that need to take place with the staff and you need to plan for and conduct them on a regular scheduled basis.

4. Team Staffing: The responsibility to recruit and select people for your team is a high priority often over-looked by managers. For example: an understaffed sales team has a high opportunity cost in lost or unrealized sales revenue.

5. Personal one on one meeting with staff members: Endeavour to spend time with all your team members one on one, especially the highly productive ones. Spend time with the winners - they have the capacity to give your team higher returns. They may leave if you don't invest in them.

6. Personal Production: You are not developing your team, if this is your number one priority. It may be necessary, but it needs to fall into proper sequence of where you are in building your team. If personal production takes up all of your time, then these other important roles of leadership are not taking place.

Note: The priorities, with the exception of stabilization, do not need to be done every day. However, there will be many days when several of these priorities are worked and a few rare days when all priorities are touched. Remember, manager/leaders have to switch their mindset from themselves to thinking about team development in order to achieve goals. The line management position is the most important link within any organization and also the most challenging and rewarding role. It is, however, necessary to balance this leadership role with personal production. To be a manager is not just a title, it requires a commitment to leadership.

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