Do you have managerial experience in the corporate workforce? Or are you a current manager angling for a raise or more responsibilities? Regardless of your current position, as a manager, you can always benefit from learning how to market and improve your skills.
Understanding your Weaknesses as a Manager
To be an ideal manager, there are two aspects of your leadership style that you need to recognize- your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Ideally, whatever changes you make need to help eliminate or improve your weaknesses, while either keeping your strengths the same or also improving them. In order to work on your weaknesses, you need to understand what they are.
This is where a good managerial 1:1
will come in handy, as well as foster an environment in which your direct reports are willing to talk to you about your tactics as well. Horizontal Mentorship
is an excellent system to implement in your workplace in order to receive this feedback. Once you identify these problems, you can then proceed to attempt to rectify them. Often, some of your own mentors can assist with these, such as former managers, higher-level administration, as well as some of your peers. But eventually, you will hit a point where you can’t really progress any further.
Management is similar to any other career. There’s basic education and training you get, such as an undergraduate degree, and then the equivalent of a postgraduate degree, such as an MBA. But there is a flaw with an MBA. According to Southern Nazareth University, hosting a strong MBA program, the following classes are some of the necessary courses required to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration.
1) Business Essentials
2) Exploring Business Strategies
3) Marketing for the 21st Century
4) Business and Law
5) Management Analytics
6) Management Accounting
You’ll notice something particular about these classes. While they are no doubt useful and are a boon for any manager, they tend to focus more on the financial and accounting aspects of business management. None of these classes can really help you with the soft skills of a business. Low inventory turnover? Low-profit margins? High expenses? Get an MBA; that’ll help you without a doubt.
That MBA just turned into an expensive piece of paper when faced with those types of problems. MBAs are great and definitely cultivate very healthy financial businesses. However, a business is more than just profits, losses, and breakeven points. A business is all of the people that make it up. Effective management means not only having success with the financial parts, but also taking care of your human capital, and leading them to the best of your ability.
Fortunately, there are people equivalent to the MBA. These are known as Leadership Certification Programs. Through these, you can not only fix your individual flaws as a leader, but also demonstrate your skill to your leaders, and then potentially advocate for raises or promotions.
What are People Leadership Certification Programs?
A People Leader Certification Program is a process designed to both teach and evaluate a leader’s ability to impact their team over a set period of time. The closest academic certification would be a degree such as a Master of Leadership. However, not only does this require full-time work, but it is also extremely expensive. Also, you do not get to continuously practice and hone your skills while in this academic program.
People Leader certification occurs simultaneously with your work as a manager and will often require you to execute what you have learned in the workplace as a way to learn more effectively. The best way to hone a strategy is by putting it under fire, and as such, a program such as this can help hone your skills.
The curriculum often discussed within a leadership certification program is as follows:
1) Personal Leadership
2) Intercultural Leadership
3) Service Leadership
4) Strategic Planning
5) Conflict Negotiation and Resolution
It is evident how this curriculum helps any manager. The questions originally posed above can easily be answered by the programs stated above. In addition to that, this training is focused on people management as opposed to financial management, making it more suited for someone who works with direct reports.
People Certification Programs are still very new in the business world. Almost every single one of them are hosted through a college, such as MIT Sloan, Cornell Dyson, or UPenn Wharton. It is rarer to see a privatized one. However, Ambition in Motion has created the AIM Insights People Leader Certification through their AIM Insights tool.
By combining business analytics with communication with direct reports and executive coaching, managers have the potential to distinguish themselves from others with the same goals.
How does the AIM Insights People Leader Certification Work?
Start by scheduling an interview with them! You must currently be leading a team in order to participate in this program, due to the requirement of getting feedback and statistics from your team members. Set up AIM Insights and commence work as normal.
AIM insights provide an aggregated score known as a SMART Impact score, which is composed of three sub-aggregates.
SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
1) Smart Goals Set- the number of goals set by direct reports that fulfill the SMART requirements as a percentage in relation to the total number of goals set.
2) Goal Relevancy- The number of direct report goals that are rated as highly relevant to the overall company goals, once again as a percentage.
3) Goal Impact- Your rating for each DR Goal on a scale including Low, Medium, and High in terms of how it moves the team forward.
By using these productivity Metrics in conjunction with an executive coach who can guide you on how to improve your scores, you can not only improve this score but become better as a manager as well.
How does a People Certification Program Benefit Me as a Manager?
A good People Certification program can allow you to do the following:
· Highlight to your senior leadership why you deserve a promotion or raise
· Show prospective employers why you are a great leader
· Compare your strategies to other leaders
· Evaluate how you impact both the qualitative and quantitative output of your team
You also gain a certificate and all of the data used to coach you, which you can then showcase to employers, and your professional network, and also be able to leverage to negotiate additional benefits.
The world is constantly changing. Be a good leader and be flexible with it. Don’t be afraid to go “back to school” to become an even better leader. A people leader certification program is a great place to start this.