Teaching a Producer to Be a Manager

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Mar 27, 2013

Dear Barb:

I have a manager who would rather do than teach others. As a result, my sales team drops the ball knowing she will take up the slack. This is limiting her success as well as the production of the team. She has always been a good producer for me, how do I get her to teach others rather than constantly saving the day without it having a negative impact?

Frank S.

Indianapolis, IN

Dear Frank:

This is very common when a manager has worked their way up the ranks and was initially a top producer. It seems quicker just to do rather than teach others. I would share this example with her: “If you feed someone a fish, they eat for one day. If you teach someone to fish, they can eat for their entire life.” What happens to the success of the team if she is not there?

She should provide the same answer every time someone asks her a question. That answer is, “What is your solution?” This begins to educate the people she supervises to not only bring a problem, but to suggest a possible solution. She may agree or disagree with some, but it will force her team to become more solution focused.

It’s important that when you present this to your manager, you show her how this will benefit her and her team. You just want to help her grow as a manager. She needs to be less accessible to her team. Her open door policy has to be stopped, and she is only accessible early morning, lunch or late afternoon – unless it involves a close.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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