Speaking broadly, I think most managers fall into four approximate categories, the first two of which I have written about below, the next two will appear in my next blog posting.

The key to successful management lies in a combination of good understanding both of yourself, and those who work for you. My next two blog entries will address the former.

The Authoritative Boss

Key Characteristics:

Strong management style, able to influence to a high level, managing through concern to achieve results. This manager is able to push their staff to new levels and they find their teams deliver best when they are managing them very closely and reporting to them frequently. Many managers in this category feel this is the only way to achieve consistent results, although they can push too far at times. They tend to be very good at delivering short-term results but in the long term can have complications building solid teams as they create very competitive environments.

They are more often found in firms with classical heavy hierarchies, or sometimes within owner-managed businesses. This can be any kind of SME business (within asset management  – family offices, private equity funds, hedge funds, or small law firms). Structures where the majority of decisions are taken at higher levels with little team communication. The manager maintains the team through occasional praise, although this is not consistent and team members are left trying to please. Often such managers have been trained in this way and assume this is the right way to keep on going, and they do work well, especially in more transactional environments, where dealings are at a higher-volume, with shorter-term involvement. Typically team members are more junior, so for example, would probably be successful managing a team within a Transfer Agency environment due to their focus on urgency and results.

The Analytical Activator

Key Characteristics:

This is the lead by example management style where the manager is leading the way in setting expectations and standards. Work is organised according to tasks, priorities and assigning these to team members, then overseeing them through to completion. These managers are typically well-organised, with good concepts of time and priority. Such managers are very good at overseeing complex projects where there are several different ongoing requirements that need to be juggled, but at times they can become very ‘hands-on’ and take on too much. This type of manager is well suited to a Programme or Project Management role, or a position that requires a strong operational component, such as Risk & Compliance, where needs can be analysed first, and then delegated to appropriate team member(s). They keep their team engaged through effective allocation of tasks and the freedom to complete them. This style of management requires hiring team members who are highly-motivated and competent in their own roles, or the manager will be compromised.

Activator managers often display inherent skills in understanding complex problems and are able to carve out suitable business frameworks from new understandings, they simplify complexity. This is therefore a very useful management style for areas of business that require in-depth understanding of the business. This is the type of manager who will have all bases covered, projects completed to schedule, and a team where each person has clearly defined roles. This is a very pragmatic and responsible manager, and I often see many managers of this ilk reach Chief Risk, COO or CEO positions as a result of their strengths.

Please continue reading the next part here.

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