Do You Need to Reinvent Your Managers?

The title of "manager" is more than a reward for staying with your company for years. It means more than "person who gets a key to the store," and conveys more authority than you would entrust your counterpeople with. Are your managers truly the leaders you need them to be?

Some rental business owners are satisfied, or at least appear to be satisfied, with their managers simply going through the motions of a counterperson. Many managers are not true leaders and you are probably not the most effective at training your managers in the skills that will take your company to the next level.

Some managers may have the potential to be effective leaders but haven’t had formal higher-level management foundations training. Many rental business owners are frustrated with their manager’s lack of management skills and some feel that there is nothing that will help.

Perhaps surprisingly, sending a manager to a training session with managers from other rental companies does not accomplish the objective. I have found the very best way to train rental business managers and other supervisors is when the training is conducted at the rental company and specifically for that one company. Managers are hungry for the education that empowers them to plan, organize, direct and control in a much more effective way.

Most managers, for example, have simply never been taught the correct way to set goals and few have been taught the finer points of delegation. Many managers are very frustrated in not knowing how to handle a wide variety of the duties you want and need them to be proficient in. Some also feel that they are not prepared to handle the challenges they face - especially in the area of employee supervision.

Rental business operators need their managers to have a much higher level of management knowledge and ability. As some of you have told me, when the economy was robust, the need for refined management skills didn’t seem as important as these skills are today.

If your managers or supervisors are not as effective as they should be, it would be wise to discover what can (and should) be done about it. Many rental business owners find it very difficult to objectively analyze the leadership skill set of each person in their company with supervisory duties - especially people they have known for years. Sometimes it's difficult to uncover the possibilities when one is in close daily contact with the people.

On the other hand, some rental business owners are wisely investing in training their managers now. Companies have hired me to help select, train and educate new leaders. Some of these new and newly trained managers have told me the training was very helpful and showed them that their companies had an interest in their success.

So, expect more and believe that better leadership from those in supervisory positions is one of the most important initiatives for your company.

Focus your leadership training initiatives on those most likely to become effective leaders. Remember, just because someone has considerable product knowledge or has been with you for many years doesn’t mean that he or she is the best choice as a leader. The decisions of who to have in leadership roles and the leadership training they receive have a profound and lasting effect on the growth and profitability of a company.