Most service and retail operations have district managers, who are under the supervision of regional managers but oversee branch managers. Becoming an effective district manager requires excellent communication and organizational skills. It's no surprise that most of these managers have a strong business background and management experience. District managers are in charge of an area that usually includes several stores or distribution outlets.
- Skill level:
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Do a positive self-assessment. Create a list of the areas in which you have the most expertise or the easiest time performing. For each area of responsibility, ask yourself what makes you effective, and write that down. If you are good at motivating people, is it because you create clear goals for your team or you have a lot of energy? Knowing exactly why something works can help you become more effective.
Evaluate your weaknesses. Create a list of management areas in which you have the most trouble. They are usually responsibilities that you dislike or have limited knowledge about. Get feedback from your superiors about management skills you should improve on as a district manager. Plan to address these areas with concrete actions. If you have trouble with public speaking, attend a public speaking workshop. If you have trouble understanding financial statements, sign up for an online class. Actively work to improve your weaknesses, and ask for continuous feedback from your superiors.
Set clear expectations and consequences. To be an effective district manager, you must clearly communicate sales and performance goals. Once everyone understands your expectations, you can work with your branch managers as a unified team to achieve them.
Let people work their own way. Different people have different ways of achieving a task. A good district manager lets employees work toward the established goals in ways that best suits their skills and style. The important point is to always communicate. If a branch manager’s style is not producing the desired results, voice your concerns and suggest a different approach.
Lead by example. Hold yourself accountable to the same expectations you have for those working below you. An effective district manager has to juggle many responsibilities and duties. People will subconsciously match your work ethic and effort in their own work.
Tips and warnings
- Adopt an attitude of continuous personal improvement, and let that habit become the norm among managers below you.
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