Why adland still suffers from heart attack-inducing managers | Mumbrella360 video

Having a bad manager can increase your risk of a heart attack by 20%. So why isn't Australia's media and marketing industry doing more to fix its higher than average churn rate? This session from June's Mumbrella360 conference attempts to find out why.

“Good managers make more impact that bad leaders,” says Rob Pyne, director at Sydney-based management training company Realizer, during this Mumbrella360 session. “They are the one that keep clients happy, keep staff happy and make things happen.”

Pyne points out that employee churn is driven by staff member’s relationship with managers. Bad managers can also increase the risk of a heart attack by 20%.

He then reveals the results of exclusive research into specific management challenges, gleaned from around 100 managers from across Australia.

“In the groups we work with there are issues around task achievement, accountability and processes. Stuff we thought that was solved 30 years ago is still hanging around as an issue,” he said at Mumbrella360.

“The number one thing a manager needs to do is set high standards for the team and maintain those standards.”

Having reliable leadership is critical for a competitive business said Pyne, citing a Google experience that found consistent managers fostered innovation.

In Pyne’s research he found Australian managers are doing well in granting staff autonomy, however in terms of skill development and articulating leadership there was little confidence from both managers and staff on how well their managers are doing.

Managers need to encourage and empower direct reports to learn and improve skills, believes Pyne.

“The power of a thank you card, good feedback – publicly recognising team effort, publicly rewarding team members and taking time to celebrate successes.”

“This is the biggest ask of people in our survey, and it’s the biggest failure because managers walk away from that conversation. Feedback needs to be given,” he says.

“Everyone across the board is saying we need to give good feedback, we need to be better at it. It’s relatively simple, but there’s no model for it.”

Managers themselves need support to do their 21st Century jobs, Pyne believes.

“They need your support and they need a toolkit to do this well,” he says.

Overall Pyne found while there’s a lot of room for improvement, industry leaders are getting better in a difficult environment.

“Management does not come naturally,” he says. “It’s hard to do.”

“You need the wisdom of Yoda, the strength of Chewbacca and maybe a bit of humour like Han Solo.”


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