Today’s post is by Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, which has sold more than 13 million copies.
Certainly, the people being supervised are the key variable in determining a sales management style. No question about it. Without people there would be no leadership or management necessary. However, being realistic and recognizing that we work in a world which doesn’t operate exactly the same as situations in textbooks, there are other variables which impact managerial style.
One important factor which will determine one’s approach to management is the style and expectations of the boss. If your boss is a very directive manager and expects you to be the same, it may be difficult or impossible for you to engage in a coaching or supportive leadership style without getting yourself into hot water.
Your associates are another moderating influence which can potentially change your sales management style. In some organizations, it’s expected that all managers on a given level will operate in pretty much the same manner. If you should get out of step with your peers, they will become upset. You would be a threat to the security of the organization. Hence you will get pressure to return to the group norms.
Corporate personality or organizational culture is yet another variable which may have an impact on your sales management style. Organizations, as with people, have definite characteristics. The management styles available to you in a military organization, or in a bureaucratic office, will be far different than those in a flower shop or the creative director’s department of a large advertising agency. Clearly, your management style isn’t going to be the same as a drill sergeant’s when you’re working with a group of PTA volunteers.
Time also influences management style. If time is available, a good manager will use it to help subordinates develop skills and commitment. However, when things get wild and hairy around the office, a manager may not have the necessary time it takes to employ the “coaching” style of management which demands considerable time for the one-on-one involvement.
To determine the best and most realistic style, a savvy manager will diagnose his or her situation based on several criteria. First consideration must be given to those being managed. After they are sized up, it would be well for a manager to study the boss’ management style as well as to consider the management styles used by others in the organization. Another consideration is the personality of the company. Any management style must be compatible with the organization itself.
When deciding upon a management style, first and foremost, always consider the people you are responsible for managing. Then, think about the environmental factors which might influence your style.