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Reality check for many UK managers


Cath Everett reports on a new survey from the CMI where results suggest that some UK-based managers are more confident in their ability to lead than they should be.

More than half of UK managers delude themselves as to their strengths and weaknesses due to a heady mix of inadequate training and development, and being pushed into roles they had no desire to take.
According to a survey undertaken among 2,158 bosses by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), about 44% defined themselves as excellent people managers. Just over one in five believed they were target-busters, 19% said their key strength was in managing themselves and 14% attested that they were born to lead.
But of the 6,056 people who employed the CMI's self-diagnostic tool to understand where their true strengths and weaknesses lay, 41% excelled at getting results, while some 37% provided strong leadership. A mere 14% were actually great people managers and only 8% proved best at managing themselves.
Ruth Spellman, the CMI's chief executive, said: "Management and leadership skill development has been neglected by employers, government and managers themselves for far too long. We need a renewed focus on investment in training and development in this field, both for the current generation and future generations of managers."
The first step was for individuals to 'get serious' about their own personal development by understanding where their strengths and weaknesses really did lie. But employers, with the support of the coalition government, also needed to facilitate such self-development, she added.
"It costs much less to up-skill current employees than bring in new ones," Spellman said.
A key problem at the moment, however, was that too many bosses fell reluctantly into management positions, although they had had no desire to assume such a role when they initially embarked on their careers.
Some 68% of respondents fell into this category, while 63% said that they had received no management training before taking up a senior post. A mere one in five held any formal type of management qualification.

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