We caught up with Senior Timetable Production Manager from Transport for Wales, Nathan Doe and asked him what the secret was to being a good manager.
Inspiring the next generation of leaders, Nathan shares his experience of studying the ILM Level 4 and 5 qualifications and how this has helped him understand what his team really needs.
I have the equivalent to a degree without spending a penny
I came straight out of school and into a job. A lot of people went to university to get a degree – that was my worry, not having a degree.
The ILM Level 5 is equivalent to a foundation degree. Which would be two years at university, and I’ve done it without spending a penny – earning more than I would’ve paid for.
It was the opportunity to do it alongside my work. Being able to gear it to everything I do in work and learning how I can do it better. A lot of the examples you use are in work and then you discuss it with your trainer coach. You might do an assignment and then two weeks later the same scenario will come up.
The course is orientated around your job. Each person who does an apprenticeship will get something different out of it. The beauty of it is funding. I was able to buy my first house at the age of 20. I made a career for myself.
To be a good manager you need to learn about people
We would take part in activities like personality charts. I was massively red but have adapted my style to red/green. I find myself using this chart with new employees to find out how I can adapt my managerial style. Things that I have learnt, I have been able to share with my team and get them to start using it too.
Studying the ILM course, I didn’t learn anything about my job, but I learnt a heck of a lot about people. How to lead and inspire. That is what I enjoy most about my job. It’s the reason why I went down this route.
We have a high success rate at Transport for Wales because we encourage our staff to progress and move on to bigger and better things in the department and across the business.
I work with a range of highly qualified people who although have reached PhD level would still benefit from doing a qualification like this. Doing this course has made me understand what people need.
People that are willing will succeed
There will always be people who say “I can’t do it. I’ve got too much work on or there’s not enough time.” To me that doesn’t exist. If you want to do it, you will find the time. The people that are willing, will go onto succeed and get a lot out of this course.
I asked if I could request my previous trainer coach Phil Morgan, who supported me on the ILM Level 4 qualification. He was awesome. I don’t think I would have done it with as much enjoyment and as much ease without him.
I trusted him wholeheartedly with everything. If I made a mistake, I could openly talk to him about it. If you’ve got that parallel working relationship with someone, they’ll get the best out of you and Phil definitely got the best out of me.
Don’t stop people from progressing
My advice to aspiring managers would be, try to take the positive out of everything. When you make a mistake, turn it into a positive. Use it as a lesson.
You need to be adaptable. Not everyone is going to go with what you think is the right idea. You need to adapt to different situations and different people.
Empathy is key. Put yourself in other people’s shoes. If you were being managed by yourself, ask yourself how you would want to be treated. The reason I have got as far as I have, is because I don’t stop people from progressing.
Give people the opportunity. Don’t take the credit for yourself. You’ll get a lot more satisfaction by helping others. Allow your team to develop and learn something new and they’ll be a lot happier at work and at home.
Progress your career with our qualification in Leadership and Management. Study Level 4 and 5 and learn what it takes to be a good leader.