Sunday, 8 August 2010

UK managers are deluded!

Most managers are deluded!

Or so it seems according to a survey (yes, it’s one of them again!) commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute and reported in the current issue of Management Today.

Management Today: Deluded managers misjudge their strengths

The survey found that managers have a drastically different perception of their abilities compared to those of their subordinates, with over half of managers apparently giving themselves praise where it isn’t exactly due.

The CMI started by questioning just over 2,000 managers, and here are the scores on the (office) doors:

Managers’ strengths according to managers:
  • Managing people: 44%
  • Busting Targets (!): 21%
  • Managing themselves: 19%
  • Being a strong leader: 14%
Managers’ strengths according to subordinates:
  • Getting results: 41%
  • Being a strong leader: 37%
  • Managing people: 14%
There’s clearly a big discrepancy between the “”managing people” rating of managers themselves and their subordinates.

Rather than recommend psychiatric help to counter the delusional tendencies, the CMI puts the blame at the door of inadequate training. (The fact that the CMI is a major provider of management training is purely coincidental of course ……) Apparently, 68% of managers say they never planned to end up in a managerial role, while 63% had no training in management before they took up their post. 'There's an urgent need to refocus the attention of UK businesses on the way individuals learn to manage. Good managers aren’t born, they are made,’ said the CMI boss last year.

So the problem lies not with the managers themselves, but with their managers. (I’m sure that the more astute of the readers of HR Case Studies will have spotted the flaw in the logic here!)

Dodgy logic notwithstanding, as Management Today cheekily asks, is the current state of UK management one of the reasons why the likes of Royal Mail, Marks and Spencer and BP have all recently chosen to appoint CEOs who have significant management experience acquired outside the UK?

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