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27 replies to this topic

#1 1976PMJwires

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

Hi there,

I've been promoted today to Sales Manager and I'd like some advice on management for a newbie.

Looking forward to the challenge, have been really successful as sales person, grew my area by 800k in the last 2 years, winning a big transport company along the way, however managing people will be a whole new ball game.

Would appreciate any comments please

Thanks in advance

Paul

#2 ckn

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 03:57 PM

The best bit of advice I ever received about managing people is "Trust but verify".  Trust your people to do their job without micromanagement but check outcomes yourself randomly to just verify.  You're not showing distrust by verifying their work but you are ensuring that they're all doing it the same way and to a consistent standard.

 

The second best is "publicly praise, privately criticise".  You're their boss, you can't gossip or whine about a team member publicly, it's now into HR territory if you do so.  You should never publicly bollock people either for screwing up, if they really need to be criticised, in your office and shut the door.  On the other side, a simple public "good work, thank you" for good work is often far more effective than cheap, gimmicky awards.

 

Never let team problems fester, try to fix them or neutralise them at least or they'll become ingrained habits and performance limiters.  If there's a problem, just keep asking yourself "why?" until you get to the root cause.  For example, if you have a member of staff that's always late, don't just assume laziness, maybe his kids' school is at the end of a PITA rat-run and it's impossible for him to get to work on time.  What would make it easier for him and better for you?  Start him 30 minutes later in a day but expect 30 minutes more at the end?

 

Try to get everyone one bit of training they want each year, even if it's just a few days.

 

Think about succession planning.  What happens if you go on holiday, who will run the team for you?  My interim style of management means I normally just rotate 2IC duties among the senior members of my team but it might be worth formally nominating one person if there's a stand-out person.

 

The hardest part is if you're promoted from within a team and the team are your mates.  Annual appraisals can cost you friendships.  You must be fair in the appraisal, that includes getting the scythe out for those who are just slacking.  If you over-mark an underperforming mate then you're doing them no favours, they'll think they're doing well and coast, next year you'll find their performance a bit lower and their expectations even higher.  You're not going to win that one so just have to suck it up and be as fair as you can.  An illustrative example, if you're asked to mark someone from 1-10 on a group of criteria and the scoring will affect their pay and career, you'll find your first go as a manager that you'll be marking between 4-8 regardless of how good or bad they are, you need to get to marking from 2-9 (obviously only if they deserve a 2 or a 9) and be able to justify why you gave every single mark.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#3 Tiny Tim

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:11 PM

Delegate, delegate, delegate. That you way you avoid responsibility and blame. Now kettle on, feet up, job done!!!  :beach: 

 

 

 

In all seriousness the delegation bit is often one of the hardest things for a new manager who tries to do everything himself as well as manage others and then wonders why he is fit to collapse at the end of every week. Be keen, but don't be a door mat and let your minions take advantage of you.

 

Don't micromanage but do know what your team is doing. Regular calls are good. Daily calls are possibly a bit heavy handed. If your manager asks you what your team is doing, saying "don't know" is considered a bad thing. Otherwise learn to bluff a bit, everyone does it from the top down.

 

Share your experience without sounding like you are bragging. You've been promoted for a good reason, tell people what you were doing and how you made it work.

 

Set timelines when giving out tasks. Sounds simple but so often managers go through what they want you to do and have an idea in their head when they expect it done by but do not share this vital bit of information then act very surprised when their employee is not a mind reader and prioritised something else. Even better ask the employee by when they think they can have it done and don't be afraid to push back if they are taking the mickey and allowing themselves an easy ride. 

 

Sorry if I am stating the obvious.

 

Oh and many congratulations on the promotion  :) 


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#4 tonyXIII

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:34 PM

Some good advice above, Paul.

 

The bits about 'trust but verify' and not micromanaging are very good. Also, remember to communicate with your team. They are only human and you'll only find out about the 'school run' type thingy if you talk to them. The 'public praise, private criticise' is right, but you don't necessarily have to criticise. Point out how their action (or lack of) has affected the team/ your company/ your suppliers/ whoever, and leave them to draw their own conclusions, at least in the first instance.

 

Finally, a judicious use of "Thank you" costs you nothing and makes them feel appreciated. ('Judicious' because my last boss overused it at first and it got a bit tedious)

 

Good luck.


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#5 Dave T

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:36 PM

Believe in people development and dont pay lip service to it.

Developing your staff is one of the most important things about being a manager, yet so many are just not bothered about this area, they shouldnt be managers.

Influence and give advice, but dont be too dictatorial, allow them to use their own skills and personalities.

#6 timtum

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:21 PM

Just to add a little bit, as there is some top advice above:

 

whenever possible do things face to face, not phone, not email, not messages.  

 

For good news, bad news, bouquets or brickbats.  If you can master the conundrum of regular, good quality team meetings then you are a better man than I ever was at this malarky.

 

The use of we did when referring to your team (rather than I did) to senior management should stand you in good stead.

 

Good luck!


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#7 1976PMJwires

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:16 PM

Thank you for some fantastic advise, much appreciated.
Some great pointers, the developing and retaining of staff is the company focus as we're investing over £1million in training of staff.

Thanks again for the responses, means a lot, especially as many of you know I "sometimes" use the rugby threads to be a tool or wind people up....thanks, I really do mean thanks.

#8 Tiny Tim

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

Thank you for some fantastic advise, much appreciated.
Some great pointers, the developing and retaining of staff is the company focus as we're investing over £1million in training of staff.

Thanks again for the responses, means a lot, especially as many of you know I "sometimes" use the rugby threads to be a tool or wind people up....thanks, I really do mean thanks.

"Advice"  :P


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#9 Cutsyke Raiders

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 12:07 PM

An alternative view from a Union shop steward.

 

Don't start walking about like John Wayne.

Perfectly reasonable people, once promoted, develop a laughable swagger and poise that manifests itself as they roam around the place.

 

Don't invent your own management-speak.

In order to set themselves apart from normal people some go down the pathway of stock phrases and ridiculous buzzwords. This only undermines their respect and makes them seem faintly ridiculous and a target for humour. But behind their back.

The current "man-speak" sweeping the nation is "Out of scope".

 

Don't take management advice from other managers. A large proportion of managers in the UK are not fit for purpose so their advice is of little use.



#10 ckn

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

An alternative view from a Union shop steward.

 

Don't start walking about like John Wayne.

Perfectly reasonable people, once promoted, develop a laughable swagger and poise that manifests itself as they roam around the place.

 

Don't invent your own management-speak.

In order to set themselves apart from normal people some go down the pathway of stock phrases and ridiculous buzzwords. This only undermines their respect and makes them seem faintly ridiculous and a target for humour. But behind their back.

The current "man-speak" sweeping the nation is "Out of scope".

 

Don't take management advice from other managers. A large proportion of managers in the UK are not fit for purpose so their advice is of little use.

That reminds me, and I can't believe I forgot anyway...  Don't trust other managers.  Your number 1 problem from now on is most likely going to be other managers playing petty politics with a few playing all-in hands all the time when it comes to sabotaging you.  Some will do it because of jealousy that you're the new "favoured" one and they no longer are in that position, others will do it with a mind that the more they trash every other team the better theirs looks, yet others will do it to try to curry favour with the highheidyins, and then you get the narcissistic assclowns of the world who are happy to screw you over just for the hell of it.

 

You can't say "I'm not playing politics" and try to stay out of it, that's a bit like catching the kick off in a SL game then telling the charging opposition forwards that you're having a bad day so please go lightly on you.  You either play politics or get ground under without sympathy.  That said, there's a big difference between playing politics to stop you being ground under and playing destructive politics yourself; I do my damnedest to protect me and mine without joining in with the destruction and it really does help my moral compass survive in the office.

 

Also, on the management speak thing, "out of scope" has been in my vocabulary for decades now as a programme manager!  It's a genuine phrase with a genuine meaning when used in the right workplace environment.


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#11 Johnoco

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:08 PM

Great advice. I propose we sunset this idea, think outside the box until we square the circle and then apply some blue sky thinking.

Er do I get a management role?

#12 Dave T

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:23 PM

An alternative view from a Union shop steward.

Don't start walking about like John Wayne.
Perfectly reasonable people, once promoted, develop a laughable swagger and poise that manifests itself as they roam around the place.

Don't invent your own management-speak.
In order to set themselves apart from normal people some go down the pathway of stock phrases and ridiculous buzzwords. This only undermines their respect and makes them seem faintly ridiculous and a target for humour. But behind their back.
The current "man-speak" sweeping the nation is "Out of scope".

Don't take management advice from other managers. A large proportion of managers in the UK are not fit for purpose so their advice is of little use.

complaints about management speak always remind me of complaints about pc gone mad.

Out of scope is a perfectly useful phrase which is clear what it means and saves time going round the houses.

Bad management speak is when things make no sense. If you understand the point, you are moaning for no reason.

#13 terrywebbisgod

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:26 PM

Hi there,

I've been promoted today to Sales Manager and I'd like some advice on management for a newbie.

Looking forward to the challenge, have been really successful as sales person, grew my area by 800k in the last 2 years, winning a big transport company along the way, however managing people will be a whole new ball game.

Would appreciate any comments please

Thanks in advance

Paul

First of all,congratulations.Secondly,rule with a heart of stone and take no prisoners!
Cannibal chiefs chew Camembert cheese,cos chewing keeps them cheeky.

#14 ckn

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:31 PM

First of all,congratulations.Secondly,rule with a heart of stone and take no prisoners!

Make one wildly irrational decision a week to keep them on their toes!

Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#15 Futtocks

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:24 PM

Your first task should be to get your underlings busy building a giant heroic statue of yourself.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#16 Tiny Tim

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

Make one wildly irrational decision a week to keep them on their toes!

 

Made up management jargon has the same effect. A colleague favoured using Starwars type management jargon that made absolutely no sense. In the end they promoted him to stop him confusing the team during meetings.


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#17 Cutsyke Raiders

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 12:21 AM

Out of scope is a perfectly useful phrase which is clear what it means and saves time going round the houses.

These people seem to agree with me

 

http://www.abc.net.a..._glossary.htm#O



#18 Bearman

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

Also you could use your new found influence with your publicity department to sponsor Coventry Bears!
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#19 stimpo-and-kat

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:54 AM

Take advice and ideas from staff, but remember that its not a democracy. Your job is that of a steward, whoever takes over from you eventually should receive the department in a better state than you recieved it, and so on...

#20 Dave T

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:49 AM

These people seem to agree with me

http://www.abc.net.a..._glossary.htm#O

so what would you replace it with?