February 2016 - Symposium Learning

February 23, 2016

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CARRER PLANNING – Become a Senior Manager in 2016

In mid-December 2015, the Irish Times featured a brief article reporting the launch of a new recruitment platform “exclusively dedicated to high-performance senior management roles” (The Irish Times, Business News, Friday, December 11, 2015, page 2)

When browsing the job postings available in the fields of accounting, marketing, sales and education the following expectations of the candidates’ character are stated:

  • Possess initiative and innovation
  • Proven multi-tasking skills
  • Demonstrate strong problem-solving talents
  • Ability in championing strategies
  • Talent in building build strong relationships

The recruitment guidelines provide insight on how to conduct an interview by using answers that demonstrate the fitting qualities of the candidate. For example, a very effective strategy is to provide concrete examples, anecdotes of direct experience. “I have designed and delivered on abc’s marketing plan for 2014 and 2015, providing the organisation with x millions of euros in direct revenue”. “I have re-structured xyz’s sales team bringing the organisation’s profit from x to y, with an 150% increase in 18 months”: those are sample statement that a candidate must run-through when preparing for the interview.

However, not always experience is directly accessible to aspiring senior executive and while waiting for the right opportunity, specialised learning and development are extensively available.

To become a senior manager, an executive or a business owner is the career path chosen by many: striving towards self-actualisation, the acquired experience in delivering a service, a solution and a product evolves in the aspiration to manage others in the pursuit to gain and establish revenue for the organisation.

Below we share the 5 key areas of knowledge that a Line and Middle Manager need to develop in order to be able apply for senior position, become an executive or an entrepreneur:

Human Relations: management is about managing people, directly or indirectly, by the implementation of sound business processes. Listening skills, empathy and understanding of motivational triggers are essence to any management position.

Strategic Planning: the ability to appropriately plan and execute develops as the position grows: from scheduling daily actives core to a Line Manager’s role, towards the creation of year-long strategies and business processes.

Analytical thinking: the primary skill required to deliver timely management of multiple projects and coordination of cross-departmental strategies, ‘analytical thinking’ support senior executives from Go-to-Market strategies to effective Risk Assessment.

Communication Skills: from constructive feedbacks to coaching, from mentoring to change management: communication skills allow for strategic branding of the organisation, for the senior manager and create the basis for a committed management team and employees.

Negotiation skills: an under estimated skill that applies from daily management of customer care to large contracts negotiation, from sourcing founding to obtaining buying-in from investors for the organisation strategies and goals.

The Irish Times article concludes by affirming an Amárach research show “that 72 per cent of employees in senior executive and c-suite position expect to move roles in the next five years.” (ibid.).

In view of significant changes , 2016 will be the year for Irish Managers  to assess career paths and goals.

Career planning begins by establishing how to gain essential skills and techniques that will facilitate the manager in accessing the desired jobs and, most importantly, will guarantee the successful delivery of the established expectations.