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I recently filled out my self evaluation and was at a loss for how to develop myself further. I am certain there are many ways I can grow. I was looking for a list of things great managers do well so that I could compare myself against it. I couldn't find one here on the forums or in the podcasts and I have listened to just about every single one of them.

What are the 10 most important manager skills? Perhaps ten is the wrong number, but my point remains. Where should everyone focus first?

In my case, I am a Director of Engineering for a medium sized company. I'm responsible for managing engineers and product management. Right now my team is small (3 people including me).

I appreciate your input.

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="mixmeister"]Where should everyone focus first?[/quote]

My first thought is that any personal development plan is just that--personal. There is no "one size fits all" personal/professional growth plan. Even if you are doing coaching, feedback, and O3s very well--can you do better? Are *all* your staff meetings effective?

[quote="mixmeister"]In my case, I am a Director of Engineering for a medium sized company. I'm responsible for managing engineers and product management. Right now my team is small (3 people including me). [/quote]

Identifying a "top 10" and achieving consensus on that top ten would be hard...nevertheless, improving communication skills, growing deeper knowledge of the industry, building stronger relationships, etc are always growth areas.

With introspection and by merely asking the question I believe you are already on the right track--seeking to develop yourself further. Now just decide on the areas for growth!

WillDuke's picture

I guess the question to ask yourself is: "How am I doing?" Bu that's really too broad isn't it?

How are my directs?
Are my directs effective?
Are my directs getting developed?
Are my directs happy?

Same questions for your department.
Same questions for you.

In short, as a manager, I think you can measure the job you're doing by measuring the success of your team. Or you can at least start there. :)

dhkramer's picture

What does Mark do better than you? Mike? Jack Welch? Bill Clinton?

How are your recruiting skills?

How many community organizations are you a member / president /founder of?

How many clients have you entertained this month?

And so on...

RichRuh's picture

I would add:

"What is your retention rate?"

--Rich

US41's picture

[quote="mixmeister"]I recently filled out my self evaluation and was at a loss for how to develop myself further. I am certain there are many ways I can grow. I was looking for a list of things great managers do well so that I could compare myself against it. I couldn't find one here on the forums or in the podcasts and I have listened to just about every single one of them.

What are the 10 most important manager skills? Perhaps ten is the wrong number, but my point remains. Where should everyone focus first?

In my case, I am a Director of Engineering for a medium sized company. I'm responsible for managing engineers and product management. Right now my team is small (3 people including me).

I appreciate your input.[/quote]

Usually the way we can develop ourselves further is to start with our objectives or the objectives we give our folks. Probably sitting in an HR tool somewhere are three or four miserably unmeasurable objectives.

Identify those key behaviors that your folks' work is judged by, and turn them into objectives, and then figure out a way to measure them, even if it is slightly hokey. They create a tracker in Excel and start recording their positive or negative behavior.

You can judge your own improvement by how well you develop objectives (it took me a year to come up with decent ones for my group) and how well your folks track upward in their behaviors. You can then apply feedback to keep the green lights green and turn the yellow and red lights green. You can actually see it happen.

Don't make it too complicated. There are ways to do it so that it is not a huge burden, but somewhere there is a numerical representation of success that is "good enough", and managers not knowing what to develop in themselves often have this unattended to objectives item hiding in a drawer that they have not opened up and dusted off.