One of the major problems I have encountered on so many occasions is the inability of management to select, train and develop employees. There is a great capacity to also depend on a selection process that is based on academic achievement without a balance of practical knowledge of the environment.

Management is about making things happen, where a purely academic approach just follows textbook procedures mechanically whether they produce the desired results or not. It is then usually the fault of a subordinate and not the strategic thinking manager.

Successful management today and into the future must never be a passive art. Too many managers simply isolate themselves from the staff and just wait for them to relay problems as they happen. What a risky strategy to live by? Experience tells us that this is a non-sustainable business approach.

The underlying success strategy of great manager is one of continually seeking out continuous improvement opportunities in conjunction with all staff through targeted programmes which have been developed in a team environment. Everyone knows the objectives and more so has complete ownership of them. All that is then needed is to manage by exception against clear KPI’s which will include reporting of both adverse and improvement trends against budget on a weekly basis.

A great manager is more than a problem solver. He sets clear goals in unison with his team. He is also innovative and is able to convert strategies into reality. He will also make growth a clear and concise goal of the strategic business plan.

To ensure growth is both planned and achieved, there can be no sentimental attachment to products, processes or people. There can be no sacred cows. All of these can have adverse effects on any forward strategies.

Management must be all about an intelligent choice of goals underpinned by effective KPI’s, account-abilities supported by proper authority levels and regular performance reporting.

Good management also means being profit-minded as profit really is the best available element and standard of managements success and organisational performance. Profit is more than just an accounting term, it is the standard for measuring the effectiveness of the decision making processes.

Great management means action and not reaction. Pro-active and not re-active to both internal and external forces.

In looking for great managers, they must have an acceptance and understanding of business management and be able to relate to the necessary ingredients outlined above . They must be able to relate to others through personal experience and success, teaching others successfully because they have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’. They don’t look to re-invent the wheel because they learn from other success stories and have mentors they can call on to assist wherever needed.

Finally, great manager will look outside of their business and be aware of the ever changing environment and volatility of the market place. They will always be seeking out the possibility of adding a proprietary line to their stable and they will know the profit contribution of every process and product line.

Great managers know that the ‘STATUS QUO’ is simply not good enough.