Supervision Basics: A Leadership Mindset is a high-impact, transformative self-help and training tool for front-line supervision. It is a must for anyone in supervision and those wanting to go into supervision. It is available on Amazon and Kindle.
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By D. V. S. on 21 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As ever there are professions least appreciated, and this is one of them: Supervision.
Richard Warren has written the book I could have written, but he has done it better than I could have done. I can see from the outset of reading his book that he knows full well what he’s talking about; it’s as if he’s written the words for me.
I come from another country, where I enjoyed (and suffered) the role of management supervisor in multi-racial environments. (Supervision is actually a management role delegated to an other).
I’ve had over 16 years experience in either being a shift supervisor or a supervising manager in various manufacturing industries (food, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel, and electric.)
Being a committed Supervisor is actually being a professional, and it is a profession that could only be studied with experience in the real world, not in the heady world of “paper qualified” academia. If Supervision ever became a profession requiring “paper qualifications”, it would require highly experienced real-world professionals like Warren to examine written examination papers. There would also have to be specialised fields of supervision, as in food, electrical, steel, etc. Scotland has SVQs for such fields, I think. (SVQ = Scottish Vocational Qualification)
Food industries require more stringent quality control, whereas steel industries require more of a leadership in the rough-and-tumble world of hardened “working-class” characters. The character or nature of supervision personalities (which can be learned by experience) is different for each industry. I’ve seen a highly effective supervising manager (actually an operations manager that also supervised the shop floor) dissolve potentially destructive industrial unrest by “simple” one-to-many amicable, win-win negotiation at shop floor level (- he is still, in memory, an inspiration to me: his name is André van Niekerk at VeeCraft in South Africa)
Supervision also requires a good understanding and application of fully-fledged appraisal systems for each type of industry in which the supervisor operates. An appraisal system need not have the backing of company policy to be applied if the company owner or manager allows the supervisor to have the authority to accompany the responsibility required to motivate operatives. Oftentimes supervisors are given responsibilities without concomitant authority. (People with management or supervisory experience will understand what I’m saying here. Even the aforesaid André van Niekerk has experienced the meaning of this, where the owner of a construction steel business, in which André worked as an operations manager, poked his finger in André’s face!)
The problem is, especially in an owner managed businesses, supervision is not appreciated as a specialised job requiring all-round intelligence (including emotional intelligence): the supervisor does not have the power of a business owner or manager, yet the supervisor has to be more effective in getting operatives to fulfill their tasks. But then, most people don’t have the all-round intelligence to understand this. Richard Warren understands this fully.