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Make sure managers get good training

Being a manager of any kind is a very high calling because as such, you are responsible for much of your staff’s lives. After all, your employees spend much more time with you than they do with their family. For this reason and for many others, you have got to be the best manager you can be.

It has always troubled me to see so many businesses take their best worker and make him or her a manager. A worker is a technician. Under typical circumstances, workers are responsible for getting their own work done; yet, managers get things done through others. Being appointed or anointed a manager should not automatically arise from being a good worker. Rather, managers must know how to care for and motivate others.

One of the things I see in many managers — especially new managers — is that they just do not understand that they get their work done through others. Yet, consider how much work would get done if the manager was absent as compared to if the employees were absent.

In addition, when questioned about their management style, most new managers will tell you that they use the techniques that their managers used with them. This can be particularly troubling if their past managers have not been very good. Therefore, it is imperative to have a training program in place to transform technicians into managers. There is not an automatic knowledge dump when an employee becomes a manager.

I was recently talking to a veteran from the Marine Corps who had been using a very aggressive management style (yelling and swearing at his staff) in a private business, and it was not working well at all. His supervisor had talked to him about this style, and his staff was ready to mutiny on him at any moment.

This individual wanted to be a great manager, but he just did not have the appropriate training. He needed to be shown alternative approaches. Good management training will provide the skills and processes that enable a manager to motivate, coach and guide their employees.

When I was in the Air Force Reserve, I was lucky enough to receive a direct commission as a second lieutenant from an airman first class. In this case, I had no management training as I had only really had one manager previously (in civilian life). I still marvel at my staff’s ability to put up with me and my lack of management skills.

Whenever you make an employee a manager, you must ensure that a training program is in place to impart the skills and knowledge needed to be a great manager. There is just too much at risk for both your staff and your company not to have a great training program in place for your new management staff.

Jerry Osteryoung, the director of outreach of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at FSU and professor of finance, can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (850) 644-3372.