You’ve invested blood, sweat and tears in your business, not to mention time and money. You’ve nurtured it from humble beginnings through tough times to a fully-functioning, sustainable and profitable business venture. You don’t want to put all of that at risk, so you need to be very, very careful about who you hire to help you manage it.
Alternatively, you’re an aspiring business manager and you want nothing more than to be entrusted with running an established local business, or, even better, a major multi-national corporation. You need to ensure that you have more than just enviable academic credentials to your name, because good business management is about much more than distinctions in operations management theory.
Whichever side you’re coming from, you need to know which qualities are most important in business managers.
4 Qualities business managers can’t be without
1) Industry knowledge. This is a no-brainer; if business managers aren’t intimately familiar with their industry of choice then they’re not business managers at all. Most business managers work their way up through the ranks, so they should accumulate a great deal of experience. The lesson for business owners is not to hire anyone who is still wet behind the ears. The lesson for graduates is to resign themselves to entry-level positions.
2) Business software knowledge. Most businesses rely on at least one software package to keep track of processes and maintain the smooth running of operations. There are many types of software packages around, like SAP, which have a range of software applications to manage processes from supply chain management and human resources to finances and customer relationship management. Good business managers are familiar with how these software packages work and how to use them properly to ensure that everything remains on track.
3) Dependability. Business owners rely on managers to get through the daily operations that are necessary to keep customers happy and to keep the business afloat. Not only should managers deliver results but they should also be depended upon to use sound judgement when making crucial decisions. And, owners should be able to depend on them for ideas and constructive suggestions.
4) Leadership skills. Being a good leader is about being a good listener. It’s about being a good delegator. It’s about being a good communicator. It’s about trust. It’s about motivation. It’s about support. It’s about encouragement. It’s about reward. It’s about team management. It’s about a lot of things that you can’t learn from books.
There’s a saying that good leaders are made, not born. Well, good business managers are also made; they’re made by their education, their experience, their personal goals and their respect for other people. Aspiring business managers would do well to bear this in mind while they’re developing their skill set. And business owners would do well to bear this in mind when deciding which candidates to invite for interviews.
[author ]Sandy Cosser writes for SAP Careers, a job board that advertises jobs for SAP business software developers and designers in Australia, the United States, UK, and Singapore.[/author]