It's a question we love to hear: “Why is manager development important, and what can it do for me?” It's a great question to ask, because better management always makes a company and its people more successful.

It's a question that leads to long discussions, because every good answer depends upon the complexities of a particular business and its people. Despite that fact, however, some things always remain constant—including what it takes to be a great manager.

What Sets Great Managers Apart

So, what is it exactly that makes a great manager great?

We often say that managing is a set of skills that can be learned. It's true, and saying it gets an important point across quickly—that we can develop great managers in a reliable way using a structured process that focuses on a clearly-defined set of skills—but it’s not the whole story.

Providing great management does require a specific set of skills, but it also requires the right kinds of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and habits.

Knowledge includes managerial know-how, understanding of business principles and practices, and knowledge specific to the environment within which the manager works (industry, company, department, location, etc.). Above all, it's practical knowledge about managing people and business, and it's knowledge that supports the development of important skills and habits.

Skills include:

  • Character skills, which enable a person to recognize and improve essential character strengths, both in oneself and in others.
  • Relationship skills, which enable a person to build relationships and work well with other people.
  • Execution skills, which enable a person to act effectively and manage the work of others to get things done in business.

Beliefs include assumptions and expectations about people and business that affect a manager's ability to contribute well to the company and to other people. Beliefs contribute to the development and persistence of attitudes.

Attitudes include a manager's views about people, work and business. Attitudes also relate closely to a manager's approach to working with people, tackling challenges and achieving results.

Habits include all of the things that a manager does regularly. A manager's habits are the result of putting knowledge, skills, beliefs and attitudes to work on a consistent basis. They're the result of sustained practice. Over time, a manager's habits are what determine his or her overall contribution to the company, to other people, and to the success of the manager's own career.

Top ↑


How Our Work Makes an Impact

Regardless of the specific needs of a company and its managers, the impact of our work always cascades through a company in a similar way. The benefits of our programs flow outward from the managers we work with to the people they work with and on to the rest of the company.

It's a chain of cause and effect:

  1. We help managers improve their performance in specific ways.
  2. The managers perform better and become more valuable to their company.
  3. With better managers, the company performs better as a whole.

To put it a bit differently:

  1. Our programs improve specific factors that impact the performance of individual managers.
  2. The improved managers lead their teams to better performance and better results.
  3. The company performs better and produces better results for everyone involved.

Proven benefits of our programs and services include:

  • Better communication and control
  • Higher productivity
  • Better risk management
  • Increased innovation
  • Better customer service
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Better talent development
  • Better succession and transition outcomes
  • Stronger business growth
  • Better financial performance

Top ↑

What Success Looks Like

Our programs always produce specific, measurable results. For instance, one business manager in a chemicals company told us that our negotiation series helped her to save over $200,000 on a specific type of vendor transaction in the twelve months after her program. It was money that she and her colleagues had unknowingly left on the table for years.

Since then, she and her colleagues have saved more than five times the price of their program every year since through those vendor transactions alone—and those transactions only represent one way in which the program has impacted their work. Our follow-up interviews with the managers in her program indicate that the ROI of that program has been at least 1200%.

Despite the claims of some training and development companies, however, it simply isn't possible to calculate the exact overall ROI of any development program—or of any similar activity, such as “hard-skills” training or one-on-one coaching. There are too many factors at play in the performance of any business to isolate the exact contribution of a development program. Nevertheless, our programs will produce measurable improvements in your productivity numbers and on your bottom line.

You'll also recognize the benefits of our work in the same way that you know when a manager is a great candidate for a promotion. You'll see her skill, her experience, her confidence and her insight. You'll see the effect that she has on her team and on her colleagues. You'll see how she builds relationships, discovers opportunities and gets things done. You'll see her do all of that with a combination of grit and grace that makes your company not only more profitable, but also a better place to work.

Best of all, it is possible to achieve those results in a reliable way. It just takes the right approach.

Top ↑

Next: Approach »