Are Your Managers Developing These 4 Essential Talents?

BY Kathy Crosett
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What kind of leadership behaviors should you be encouraging in your managers? If your company is growing, you'll have to rely on your managers to successfully carry out the goals and objectives you've set. Research shows that training your managers to emphasize 4 specific talents will result in the most effective leadership according to McKinsey’s research. Here's what they should focus on.

McKinsey analysts looked at a range of manager behaviors across the globe. A good deal of manager behavior is team focused. For example, managers are often encouraged to praise their teams, to foster mutual respect and to communicate frequently and clearly. These behaviors develop a specific corporate culture but that is not the same as driving a strong organization to success in terms of the bottom line.

When thinking of organizational success, the top 4 talents that should be developed are:

  • Being supportive
  • Solving problems effectively
  • Operating with an eye on results
  • Seeking different perspectives

The emphasis on results may well be the most important leadership quality in today’s business climate. Your managers may understand how to set goals for their departments. But do they also have the skills to achieve those goals?

Here's where a good training program can make the difference. Your managers may need to learn how to make the work process more efficient. For example, focusing on high-​value tasks like getting a product delivered on time with the fewest number of defects is the fastest path to achieving a goal. If your best manager tends to focus on ways to develop her team, it's time to move her out of her comfort zone. Send her to a training program, if necessary, to help her develop the necessary skills.

The McKinsey analysts point out that during the life cycle of an organization, different leadership qualities are required at various points. But, to ensure ongoing success, your managers should make the 4 identified behaviors a priority.