Tag Archives: Leadership

Leadership tips for young managers

Leadership tips for young managers

By Robert Parkinson, Founder of RMG Selection

Business team working on their business project together at office - Team work

Manager, a sacred word in business which has connotations of hope and trust, is a very serious job title in the West, where the average age of managers is between 30 and 40 years old. The development of the Internet has changed some traditional industries dramatically in recent years. A senior manager in logistics might be good at managing the whole business process, but does he have any idea about operating a modern overseas warehouse? That is probably an area where his strengths are useless. Nowadays, more of the bright and talented young employees who have required knowledge and skills are promoted to be managers. But excellent as many young leaders are, they usually face a lot of challenges during the first big step up in their career. This article explores some of the pitfalls they may face and suggests some of the better ways of dealing with difficult situations.

Differences in behaviour, before and after promotion:

The purpose of promotion is to recognise an employee’s good performance at work. A young salesman, for instance, can be promoted to be a sales manager who is responsible for the performance of five sales people because of his amazing likability. Clients want to give them business and colleagues enjoy having them as a friend.

However, that doesn’t mean they are the perfect choice for a managerial role. If they used to show up 30 minutes late to work every other day and skulked away once in a while, neither had any negative impact on their sales figures, but it may mean they are not best suited for a managerial position. What do you think team members will do if they see their leader is late for work every day? Naturally they will follow! Therefore, a big difference young managers must make is to correct their own shortcomings and work on being a good example for team members. That is the basis of your credibility!


Dealing with your peers:

The major challenge for many young leaders is the changein relationship with their peer groups. Some think the shoe fits them quite well hence they tend to differentiate from their peers. However, others believe that not losing friendship with their peers is the priority.

Managers should be aware that they are responsible for the performance of others and try to develop a serious working relationship with their peers without letting it affect friendships.

Managinng the unmanageable:

Every manager at some point in their career has the unenviable task of having to deal with the “unmanageable” My advice for young managers is to find out, first and the foremost, why is this team member difficult to manage.

Listen to them! Team management is about communication. If a member of the team doesn’t listen to you and follow your plans, instead of complaining to a senior manager, you should at least try to listen to them first. Listen to their feedback on your plan and also listen to the plan they come up with. A good leader is not one who excels at everything but someone that excels at making the best use of others.

Building personal confidence: 

Another problem that young managers face is self-doubt. The voice of doubt normally starts when you have to deal with senior team members. The volume then keeps going up until it plagues your mind. The solution is very simple – stop it!

Focus on the positive sides of decisions that you make. The second step is to balance the negative sides. Thirdly, take time to rest outside of work. Go out with your friends to grab a drink or have a nice dinner. Anything that makes you happy is good for your confidence. The last step is to visit/call someone who can offer good advice. They can be your coaches, mentors, managers etc.

Your first few important decisions are probably made during this process. But that’s OK confidence building doesn’t happen all at once. Understanding this process will help young managers build up confidence gradually. In the meantime, be open to mistakes! It will help you grow as a manager.

Group of happy young business people in a meeting at office

Learning to say “no”:

Saying “no” to team members can be difficult. Some ask for casual leave and others ask too many questions. The key is all about the language. In other words, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Most young leaders are afraid to reject their team members because they do not want to damage the relationship. But this is the wrong way to go.

Think about the impact on other team members that watch you agree with everyone’s requests. They might think that you are a nice and easy-going person, but they may also regard you as a weak manager. Learn to reject unnecessary requests with kindness. Either a small talk or a mocking joke can easily let employees know that what they request is not appropriate.

To read the original article, please click:  http://t.cn/RcNiWgu

Career Builder – Build up Your Leadership Step by Step

Build up leadership skills

Last week, we talked about leadership for young managers but we only covered the dons. This week after receiving the feedback from listeners, we are going to clarify the dos for young leaders. Although LinkedIn and alike are full of articles on management and leadership skills, their quality is really questionable. So today, our special guest Robert Parkinson, CEO& Founder of RMG Selection, will give his analysis about leadership skills.

  1. In Chinese company, a lot of employees think that they should show up before the boss arrives and they need to leave after the boss leaves. How would you tackle that as a young manager?
  • Surveys and psychology suggests consistently that we do our best work in the morning, not evening. There is an expression in the UK: Early to bed; early to rise makes Jack healthy, wealthy, and wise. There is a truth in that people work more effectively in the morning. And I think it is the responsibility for young managers to be their first, to be the example for their teams.
  • But also I don’t necessarily think that people need to stay in the office until 9 or 10 o’clock at night. The balance between work and life is tremendously important. If we set us as an example to our subordinates, then it is not a great example of working 12 to 14 hours in a day. Indeed, some people working too hard finally end in tragic circumstances.
  • So I think young managers should get going on time, but at the same time trust subordinates and let them manage their own time.
  1. Could you give some specific advice to young managers who listen to our show?
  • A great specific thing you can do is to get a mentor. Get someone you trust to help you as a manager, to guide you, and to help you make right decisions. Such person can be your boss, your boss’s boss or your friend. And also be cautions of those people who sell themselves as coaches or mentors.
  • The other important thing is to be open to critics and be open to your own mistakes. That helps to build trust, which is really the glues binding employees together.
  1. What are the other dos that you will recommend young managers to do?
  • Let’s get down to the details. Clearly someone got to the manager position by the fact that they are more able than other people, so young mangers just show people what to do!
  • You need to be simple and practical. By solving a small problem may end up solving a wider issue. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, get down on dirt and solve the problem out! This earns people’s respect.
  1. When subordinates do something wrong, it’s time to test leadership. What will you do with such situation?
  • A quote is the art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. I call it a feedback sandwich. The bread in the sandwich is good staff, and what in the middle is the problem that needs addressing. So we start conversation by praising someone
  • And then we do need to address the problem. Hit the nail on the head. It is important that we emphasize one’s behaviour, not the person, which will help people understand and be less defensive.
  • But do not stop here. Build back-up for the person and encourage him to keep going. By doing like this, better results yield.
  1. How to speak to subordinates?
  • The job of a leader is to inject energy into employees. A simple way is that you turn up in the morning with energy, passion, and enthusiasm. And enthusiasm flows down in a company. You yourself should find interest and desire to do your job rather than focus on the salary.
  • If your employees come to office with personal issues, and part of young managers’ job is to tell them work is work and one needs to be professional.
  1. People tend to judge one’s ability according to his age. So how do young managers deal with this problem?
  • Use fact, reason, and qualified knowledge.
  • And have some confidence in dealing with someone more experienced than you.
  • Being tough, aggressive, and rude is not appropriate. It brings barriers. We try to be calm because people may copy our behaviour.
  1. In Japan, it is all about seniority. You don’t really see young managers. Is it a new thing?
  • Japan has its own culture. But China has witnessed tremendous changes in recent years and is largely based on western economy. Interaction skill, and alike are something more cherished in China.
  1. What kind of person can be young mangers’ mentor and at the same time how to prevent subordinates distrust you?
  • You have to choose mentors based on who you credibly and sincerely believe, and who give your advice. It may be someone you develop relationship with. The key thing is you believe his values.
  • Rise above self-doubt can help you gin trust from co-workers.

Listen to this episode of Career Builder on CRI: http://english.cri.cn/7146/2015/06/23/3262s884256.htm

9 Steps Guideline – Hire to Keep Your People – RMG CEO on Business Tianjin

If we ask any professional person who works in a leadership, P&L management or strategic HR role for the most pressing problems in their work, the answer often focuses on two key points: how to hire the right people in the first place, and then how to keep them. In fact, the more employees we keep, the less hiring problems we will have in the future, as we benefit from the ‘stability snowball’ effect. As a recruiter of more than 15 years, I have learned to see the concepts of hiring and retention holistically, i.e: not as two independent processes, but rather as one. So here we share with you our 9 RMG golden rules of hiring to keep:

1. Ownership: Usually there will be several rounds of interviews before you offer someone a position. You get opinions from each interviewer and you often deal with the challenge of multiple time zones and complicated agendas. The resulting problem is that nobody seems to ‘own’ the hiring process. No one person takes responsibility for the new hire. This may result in losing good candidates, and a poorly perceived hiring process. SOLUTION: the hiring-manager owns the process and makes the decision. Do you take team input and feedback? Yes. Is it a team-decision? No, because the problem with ‘team-decisions’ is that nobody is ever quite sure who’s made it.

2. Money just can’t be the reason (ever): Make sure someone does not join you just for more money. Salary is the simplest way to attract your people away from you if that’s the only reason people join you in the first place. Successful employment relationships evolve when the values, goals and beliefs of the employer and employee are shared. In fact the decision to take a new job is rarely just about the money. However it often does seem that way, and it is important to get to the heart of the matter: what’s really important to your potential new team-member about their career? ACTION: Find out what really drives your new hire, and if, after thorough professional evaluation you conclude it’s just about the money, don’t move forward, because you’ll regret it if you do.

3. Pay them enough: We’ve dealt with why money shouldn’t be the only reason to hire, but it also can’t be the reason to put someone off. If the market’s paying 25k a month, then it probably makes sense to pay 26k if you like the person. Put simply, if you find someone is willing to join you for good reasons, then pay them well. Don’t (allow anyone to) play games with the candidate because it will make you look bad: a candidate who expects 35k per month, who is offered 28k a month after 4 rounds of interviews, will not flatter your hiring process on Weibo!

4. A definite salary scale: You need to set it up and then stick to it. Do not make any exceptions – keep a good internal equity. Any special treatment will break your system and the balance of the whole team. In other words you need to have a salary structure that is flexible enough to attract the right people, but is structured enough to reward the different grades in your organisation. Good candidates who genuinely want to join you will understand that exceptions can’t be made.

5. The Total package: The perceived value of your total package is very important. Set up other incentives which are not purely cash based: overseas trips (the top RMG performers are off to Thailand in July!), extra holidays, recognition systems (for good work), prizes/vouchers, team-building nights, etc will all encourage your people as well as being clear indications of commitment and investment in staff. You should also provide training and contribute towards a pleasant working environment.

6. Time and attention: When new people join, the manager should spend time with them and pay attention to them. The manager’s time means a lot to a new recruit. People will perform better when they see people notice them when they are new to your company. Too often, when candidates leave their new jobs quickly, they report that there was no induction process, or that they felt like they were getting in the way, or that no-one told them what to do. See your time with your new hire as a direct investment in the success of them and your company. This is particularly true of candidates in the first 5 years of their working life.

7. Calculate hiring costs: What is the financial cost of hiring a new staff member? How much does the time taken cost? Are there external recruitment costs? What is the total cost of a new hire not working out. What are the costs to your company’s reputation and employment brand? Once you count the full cost in financial terms, it will help show you the importance of a well thought-out hiring process and help you place extra attention on details that previously did not receive enough importance. Viewing the hiring and induction process from this perspective will also help you to think more creatively.

8. Be aware of non-verbal communication in both the hiring & induction process: People’s eyes won’t lie to you! When you talk with your candidates or your existing team, do look at their eyes and be aware of their body language. Those signals tell you much more than the words (much much more!!). Are they happy/unhappy? Satisfied/dissatisfied? Open or hiding? Wise managers trust both their own instincts and the non-verbal signals from their people. It is said that only 7% of a communication’s importance is attributable to the actual words.

9. Trust your instincts: Human beings make decisions instinctively (and emotionally) and then search for the facts to justify them. Whether or not you believe this to be true, it is certainly worth keeping in mind that your feelings do provide a great compass to guide you towards, for example, a need for further information. Trust them.

Read the whole article: http://www.businesstianjin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4933:hr-9-steps-guideline-hire-to-keep-your-people&catid=152:august-2012&Itemid=100

Read the magazine: https://www.rmgselection.com/images/rmg%20news_btj-aug_rp.jpg