Most employees hired as managers or project heads in India fail to perform as managers. Even though they get in the ranks and reach General Manager or Vice President level, they can’t lead as managers.

A handful of people in any organization are responsible and run the entire organization and don’t care at which level they are but drive the organization.

Managers are expected to take the lead on their own, get involved in the growth and development activities of the company, get involved in systems and processes corrections or maybe at times make processes for the smooth functioning of the organization, be responsible for timelines, plan division of work as per the capability of each member of his team and most importantly monitor them and guide them as and when required. How many people he developed as Managers during his stint as a manager is the benchmark of his success.

Nowadays, companies have a lot of limitations. They hire people who are already General Managers working in any other company. Then they engage them as General Managers or AVP in their organization, and those GMs or AVP seek better pay and position. But unfortunately, they don’t last as good managers because the skill set required to be a manager is missing.

I wondered why people don’t become managers, especially in India or maybe in developing countries.

Based on my last 30 years of corporate life at Su-kam and now at new baby Su-vastika experience, I have listed a few reasons collectively contributing to this dilemma. Please excuse me for writing such thoughts openly in public. These are my thoughts only and may not be acceptable to most professionals. Nowadays, I have started penning my thoughts into writing, which might help a few people in general.

Making Education a Vital Criterion

People who are MBAs or Engineers fill up these jobs as they are good in their subject knowledge and communication, but most of them lack managerial skills.

Companies are struggling to have managerial candidates. In the manager job profile, I feel that Education may not be the only criterion to judge as some people are natural managers, e.g. homemakers who have been managing homes for ages. They can be a significant asset to the organization with the right opportunity and guidance. Education sometimes becomes a hindrance to becoming a good manager.

 Kids who are very good at studies generally become individualistic as their primary time is invested in studies. They don’t learn how to interact socially and perform very well at the school and College level in studies but may not develop managerial skills in life, which is a very different skill set than studies. Hence, they have a limited friend circle, and their primary focus is studies.

The major challenge I face with managers is the attitude of Problem Solving or Problem showing, as managers are the ones who should have the perspective to solve the problems around them. Still, few focus on the issue and keep concentrating on discussing the problem, not the solution.

Lack of extracurricular activities experience in Schools and Colleges

Practical experience during studies and extracurricular activities contributes to a child’s managerial and social skills by providing hands-on learning opportunities and real-world exposure to the challenges and responsibilities of an administrative role. The students must participate in extracurricular activities like sports, debates, and other such activities, which make a student develop the overall experience of a team player and sometimes team leader. People who play sports with a sizeable team, like football, cricket or volleyball, tend to gain a lot of experience from the team playing, which helps them learn to play as a team player and team leader. This makes them better leaders. Moreover, this can help individuals develop problem-solving skills, gain experience working with teams, and understand the demands of leading and managing people and projects, patience, coordination etc.

In India, we are a society where we lack most of the time as team players, which is the major problem faced by companies; people stick with their egos.

During a project or any important meeting, If the manager or team leader does not take our point of view, then we try that the project fails rather than accepting the team goals.

Role of Parents

I feel that the problem arises at home as people don’t know how to finish the work given to them.

Parents don’t realize that when kids are given any responsibility or given any task, they are not completing that task. Most parents feel they are very young and will learn to take responsibility when they are grown up, especially Indian mothers who are very protective about their kids. They don’t realize if their kids are not given any responsibility at an early age, that might hamper their future. Parents sometimes wait for the kids to get married, and then they will become responsible. Another challenge is working from an earlier age; in the Western world, kids work very early in restaurants, etc. Still, in India, people feel that these are the works for the lower strata of society and don’t send the kids to learn to live independently to earn money and responsibility at an early age. In India, even the middle class has servants at home, which is another excuse for the kids not to learn and take on responsibility in the house. 

Even sometimes, parents become lousy examples for the kids to follow those attitudes from their parents as kids learn the most from their parents through their actions rather than words. Subconsciously, they believe that when responsibilities come their way, they’d know that time. Rather than making them responsible from an early age, they let them become irresponsible,  and life continues for them like this, and they end up remaining irresponsible.

Final Thought

Because of all the mentioned reasons, the kids become adults without knowing how to close any task.

When they reach the companies or any environment, they can’t close the tasks given to them, nor do they understand how to make other people learn to complete the tasks or take on responsibilities and become dependent on others for their whole life,

In general, those people start failing at the home front also because they don’t learn to handle/ close any task or be responsible. Their kids don’t learn from them, and the next generation continues with the same practice.

Good managers can be made for Indian organizations through training, development opportunities, and hands-on experience. Parents and schools play a significant role in this context.