How do you become an exceptional manager? Unfortunately, no one is born with any management skills. Exceptional managers are developed. And this must be intentional.
What makes a manager exceptional?
Glad you asked! Exceptional managers possess skills and knowledge that enable them to deliver performance far above the norm for managers in their position.
Most people assume some individuals are just “better suited” for a management position. And there is truth to this. However, individual initiative is only part of the picture. Those who strive to be named among the “exceptional” should be asking this question: “What are the exact behaviors that some managers exhibit to help them achieve greater success than other managers?” Behaviors can be observed and replicated!
So, what are these key behaviors?
In general, a simplified “performance equation” goes something like this:
1. Individual Initiative
This is the one quality that can’t be taught, although it can be cultivated. Many factors contribute to a person’s internal drive. The people who run the company need to understand what motivates their employees — from top managers down to hourly attendants — in order to leverage the motivations of each individual employee. Exceptional managers bring their own desire to excel; then they find out what motivates those around them.
2. Teachable Skills
Managers who exhibit high levels of skill typically obtained these skills by either (1) working for a very good manager who taught them well, or (2) working for an organization that provided a very thorough training program. In other words, skills need to be taught and developed.
In any industry, there are at least three levels of skills: basic, advanced, and exceptional. Basic skills for managers start with technical knowledge — understanding the essential equipment and systems. Car wash managers also need to effectively handle customer complaints, manage employees, and perform administrative functions that contribute to the company’s bottom line.
Advanced technical skills include not only equipment knowledge but also troubleshooting. In the car wash industry, advanced managers also meet the challenges of variable staffing needs for extremely busy days, as well as super slow days. Additionally, an advanced-level manager knows how to motivate staff members and inspires them to elevate customer service. An exceptional manager takes his or her skills to an even higher level, with a real passion for excellence, both technically and toward their people (customers and staff). Exceptional Managers are most recognized by one factor above all others: their employees receive more positive feedback from customers.
3. Organizational Development & Tools
If an organization has a dysfunctional structure or toxic culture, forget having exceptional managers! Top corporations in every industry have learned to pay attention to employee development. They maintain a formal, extensive management training program, and, as a result, managers are developed and promoted to sustain the organization.
In the car wash industry, key components of organizational development include recruiting, assessment, training, motivation, discipline, and coaching. Employee recruitment and retention can be especially difficult in this industry due to factors like low pay, hard physical work, variable hours, and weather challenges.
This brings us to another vital component of organizational development: employee discipline. Part of being an exceptional manager involves effectively handling people problems, as well having a well-defined coaching process. Sometimes terminations are necessary; however, with proper coaching and motivation, many underperforming employees will make great improvements.
The bottom line is this: the achievements of a manager are affected by what is going on in the organization as a whole. Does the organization have a vision and a plan for continued growth and profitability? Are policies and procedures clearly spelled out? The more complete the organizational systems are, the better the tools a manager has to work with.
Want to learn more?
We’ve only scratched the surface of what makes an Exceptional Manager in the car wash industry. Learn more by taking the Brink Results’ WashCourse, an online video training program developed by industry experts with nearly 30 years’ experience. Schedule a WashCourse demo today, and discover how to develop exceptional managers in your organization!