What is a Manager?

Three Management tips taken from Ian Holloway’s (football manager) autobiography of management.

Most jobs carry a clear job description but there is one that does not.  What is a Manager?  There may be a clear set of responsibilities and you may even be clear about what you are accountable for but ultimately, what is your purpose?

 

I would suggest the difference between an excellent Manager and a Manager that ‘gets by’ is the ability to motivate staff to perform to the best of their ability and in excess of the employer requirement.

 

Bookshops are full of successful entrepreneurs providing their insight and knowledge on how to be a manager and the simple reading of these can be a motivator or demotivator in itself!

 

I have been working with two separate companies this year where the Managing Directors have made it a Company standard that all employees of managerial level receive a copy of a particular book.

 

One is the very well known and much loved (me included), Stephen Covey’s ‘7 habits of highly effective people’.  The other is slightly less conventional, Ian Holloway’s ‘How to be a football manager!’  I should point out that the Company is not involved in football or any sport come to that but the MD recognises some of the parallels in the football world that can be applied to his Company.

 

Is it any good?

It is certainly different and there are some excellent tips plus some rather obvious ones (not a good idea to take your staff to Ibiza in July and expect them to behave, for example).

 

Three good tips from this book

 

The three Es

When recruiting staff, they need to demonstrate three Es:

Encouragement – of yourself and others

Enthusiasm – for what you do – which in turn influences others

Enjoyment – in what you do.

 

E + R = O

E stands for Events in your life

R stands for Response

O stands for Outcome

 

In other words, events will happen, often outside of your control. The eventual outcome however of those events is determined by how you respond to it.  You have control of your response; therefore this is what you should focus on.

 

This was beautifully demonstrated in this year’s Tour De France when the current race leader wearing the yellow jersey – Jonas Vinnegaard, had the unfortunate inconvenience of a car stalling in front of him whilst going up a steep incline, which meant he had to stop.  Rather than complain about it or use it as a justifying excuse, he simply dismounted, ran around the car with his bike on his shoulder, remounted and went on to win the stage.  That’s what you call a winning Response to an Event outside of your control.

 

Respect that everybody is an individual and has their own learning style.

You cannot coach everybody with the same method. You have to adapt your coaching style to meet the needs of each individual.  That way you will motivate them to be the best version of themselves.

 

Reading books on the subject of ‘What is a manager’ will only be helpful if they inspire you to take some action.  Ian Holloway’s book is a refreshing look on what can be done to achieve success in that field.