The fact that management dictates the future of a company is relatively obvious and at the same time could be the topic of a whole book.
But it is really important to ask the question: what kind of managers are needed?
And for that, it is necessary to decide as early as possible what metrics should be used to evaluate managers.
There is not one perfect answer to that question because that will depend on what the company is trying to achieve, and it is good to keep in mind that every style will come with advantages and disadvantages.
The metics I tend to use are the following:
- Proactive hiring
- Hiring hidden gems (meaning people not obviously incredible)
- Training those employees to quickly moving them to the next level
- Keeping employees in the company
- Employees meeting objectives
- Employees having Cross team work (above and beyond accomplishment)
- Rebellious activities
The last point is because it is harder for a manager to deal with that type of employee. However, innovation usually comes from people that are rebellious, obsessed, weird and emotional in his/her work.
As a manager it is definitely harder to deal with a rebel that will dare to question a task or a direction, and the easy road is to shut them down. But by doing so, any creativity will also be shut off. And once it happens, it is complicated to get it back up.
This means that there may be a choice between having something extremely organized but without creativity or something a bit more disorganized but with more creativity. And that will depend on your employees but also and definitely on your managers and how they react in this kind of situation.
With the changes brought in 2022 mentioned in that other article, one I would like to happen is put back in the front line the “scaler”. I use that word as a lack of a better one and will give a definition of it later on.
It seems that in the world of start-up and small companies the employees that are the most appreciated are:
– Socially skilled worker
I would not argue that they are not needed, but they have disadvantages, and that is the reason why “scaller” should not only be on that list, but on the top of it.
– Socially skilled workers are people that everyone appreciates, that friendly co-worker bringing some sweets and inviting you to party. The apparently not so obvious issue is that there is no direct correlation between that and getting work done.
For any customer facing role, that is an excellent skill to have, but if you need those people to act the same way internally, then you have a real and deeper organizational issue that you should investigate.
The worst that can happen is that kind of person targets the “most helpful” workers of your company and abuses them.
Asking those skilled people that never say no to do the work and take the credit from them. Or trying to claim some leadership skill where there is none, because anyone can just add more workload on someone that never says no until they break.
If they can’t get what they want, they may use those social skills to give a bad reputation to that person. A good Sign is usually when a good worker suddenly and for no apparent reason is said to be a bad one.
This ends up in disrupting your organization, burned out or frustrated good workers while abusers are promoted. Yikes.
– Hardworkers are usually the people that work extra hours, above and beyond. Again, there are apparently some not so obvious related issues to that.
First, they can’t be hard workers every single day for years. So the work will not be consistent, mostly a rollercoaster of ups and downs, some pushes and then some slow down, making any growth difficult to plan.
In relation to that, that is not a skill that can be taught and transferred. And that is because that skill is usually a lack of skill. If promoted to a role of manager, that person may not be able to scale the work.
At that point you may start to understand what I call a “scaler”. They are the kind of people that “work smarter, not harder”. For some reason they seem to be very popular some 20 to 30 years ago and have disappeared a bit. My theory is that they have been put on the side by the one mentioned earlier, I have seen Scaler also being called “lazy people”, “not fitting with the hardworking culture” and other things like that. Some Socially skilled workers may also present themselves as Scaler, but there are not notable differences between the two. Maybe it is also because they are not that easy to find.
Scaller are people that will try to simplify and speed up things, so more can be done in the same amount of time. They will help to create some kind of organization while keeping things a bit disorganized. It is all about compromise, with one clear goal: efficiency.
They think strategically, with a goal, identify constraints, how to accommodate them etc.
That skill is not directly transferable but will directly impact other workers and lead a way.
Their disadvantages could be related to motivation and maybe being stubborn, meaning that good management is still needed with them.
As mentioned, if investors and industrials in general are counting their money, then scalers will be hot on the market and something to invest in, relatively quickly.