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How to become a manager – why technical skills are ‘Excellent but not Enough’

Nigel Girling
Nigel Girling
Head of Professional Development & Qualifications
How to become a manager – why technical skills are ‘Excellent but not Enough’

Most people got where they are based on their professional expertise and qualifications in a technical discipline. Their organisations – be they in Finance, HR, Marketing, Legal, IT, Engineering, Design etc – require certain roles or departments with specific technical expertise.

But what happens when those people are promoted into a management & leadership position?

Many quickly discover that their previous training hasn’t equipped them to meet the challenges they now face – of leading a team, developing strategy, evaluating capability or developing potential and performance. Sometimes that comes as quite a shock to people used to being on top of their game and very good at what they do.

Even more of a shock is the fact that the very expertise they worked so hard to develop is the thing that might now be holding them back. Put simply, if you stick with being technically expert in your field, you’ll probably stay there.

So, what’s the answer?

Enter, the Dual Professional.

These are the smart people who have recognised that they now need to be as skilled and professionally qualified in leadership & management as they are in their functional discipline. They understand that their ability to analyse the accounts, construct a marketing campaign or plan the implementation of a new IT network is, in the phrase coined by the great thinker Edward De Bono, ‘Excellent But Not Enough’ – or EBNE for short.

They know that it’s their leadership and management skills that they now need to work on and to develop if they want to progress their career to higher levels. Just being great at what they do now probably won’t do it. It’s EBNE.

The contemporary leader needs so many capabilities, many new ways of behaving, an understanding of people and what we call ‘Human Performance Leadership’. Inspiring, leading and developing people is, without doubt, a tough gig. The range of skills and understanding required is vast and frequent reflection, dedicated development actions and a constant focus on building relationships is a great place to start.

The most widely accepted professional qualifications in Leadership & Management are those of the Chartered Management Institute – CMI for short – and we at IDG are one of their partner centres, able to provide a range of programmes at every level from aspiring new supervisors right up to the boardroom.

So, talk to us about your situation and take the first step to set your career on an upward trajectory. Or maybe you’re happy with EBNE?

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