On 16 January this year , I officially achieved the internationally recognised, designated status of Chartered Manager – CMgr. What’s that mean, you may well ask? Good question. It’s quite a new recognition pathway for experienced managers and leaders in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, it is being touted as the highest status you can achieve as a leader.
The Institute of Managers and Leaders – IML, now offers this globally recognised designation here in Australia and New Zealand, through a strategic partnership with UK’s Chartered Management Institute – CMI; who launched this prestigious award back in 2005.
Who are IML? Formally known as the Australian Institute of Management – AIM, this membership-owned group has been supporting and guiding its member managers, since 1939. Mid last year, they renewed their membership services trading brand to IML and launched the Chartered Managers pathway; portraying a raising of the bar in professional standards of managers and leaders.
Frankly, they had my immediate attention with the inclusion of the word ‘LEADERS’ into their brand and mission statement. As a past AIM member, I’d shifted location several times in recent years and dropped off their membership radar. We’ve been busy challenging the acceptance of mediocre management status quo, and leading changes to that; often feeling like we were trying to lift that heavy bar on our own.
You see, leadership is at the core of everything I do, and everything I help others do. Our company - Vital Leaders’ mission is to develop more dynamic leaders, so it sits well with IML’s new direction. Like finding your soul-mate, IML is now our chosen industry partner. Together, we can achieve more.
So, what of being a Chartered Manager? Why did I bother? After all, I have a Masters in Management [MMgt], a couple of Cert III qualifications, and numerous accreditations in coaching and human behaviour assessments. Well, while that’s great underpinning theory, and shows dedication to higher education, we all know that its hands-on experience, proven results, and continual learning to stay at the cutting-edge, that matters most.
Just like other professions, standards of practice vary. For example, there are book-keepers, qualified accountants, and there are Chartered Certified Accountants. As a leadership coach, it concerns me that in the coaching industry there are numerous life coaches, wellness coaches, transformational coaches; a whole raft of labels seemingly anyone can use; from those who attend a weekend coaching course, to others who complete a full Diploma in Coaching.
Similarly, there are accidental managers [those who fall into the role and fumble about], there are accredited, semi-experienced managers [intentionally managing and driving outcomes], and there are dynamic leaders [inspirers of change, igniters of growth, influencers of positive outcomes, intentional role models and mentors]. There IS a difference, but it is often overlooked in recruitment processes and shoulder-tap promotions.
The Chartered Manager assessment offers two routes, depending on what qualifications you already have and your experience levels. I took the qualified route, which required me to submit a comprehensive assessment outlining how I manage change and lead others, outcomes and learnings, from the past 18 months [not what I did 10 years ago]. I also had to show how I stay current, including outlining my professional development plan for next 12 months.
An Assessor from CMI – UK was assigned to me, and I had the privilege of meeting with her for my final assessment interview in London, while I was there visiting family in January. My submission piece was assessed against strict professional ethics and the CMI Code of Conduct and Practice.
Honestly, it was more challenging than I initially thought it would be, but that’s a good thing. Achieving Chartered Manager status is more than simply filling out a document of proof. The process required considerable introspective reflection on why I do, what I do, and particularly, what I learn from each experience. These days, as a strategic, big picture thinker, driven by greater good outcomes, I’m used to focusing outward; on helping my clients achieve. This assessment helped me reflect on and recognise the vast range of skills I use - often subconsciously, but always intentionally.
Recently I was asked why being a Chartered Manager was important to me, and I provided a very quick, off-the-cuff response. That question made me reflect further and want to share a more considered answer.
What being recognised as a Chartered Manager means to me is these three core things:
- Credibility – International recognition of my high-level expertise as a currently practicing company Director, business manager, leader of change, and mentor of aspiring leaders; formally assessed to rigid Code of Conduct and ethical practice standards [formal qualifications + experience + intentions + results + learnings]
- Currency – acknowledged value of what I currently do; how I resolve issues by challenging the status quo, developing tailored solutions, driving change; how I meet client expectations by using the latest practices, and recognition of outcomes achieved in the last 18 months.
- Commitment to continual growth – acknowledgement of my insatiable thirst for continual professional development [CPD], and commitment to research and learning, for which I will be held accountable for each year through a CPD Chartered Managers reporting process.
In the leadership development and workplace culture initiatives I facilitate, I have a trust formula for leaders, which is fundamentally about building credibility.
Character + Competence + Consistency = TRUST.
The Chartered Manager assessment process gave me the opportunity to provide evidence of my ethical, honest and intentional character, my competence levels and achievements, and my consistent approach to continually learn and grow. Being awarded with the Chartered Manager designation and upholding those standards, means I stand out from the mediocre, and stand proud as an intentional leader; one who others can trust as a role-model and mentor.
Yes, it’s means more than just another paper certificate.
Yes, I’m proud of being globally recognised for my achievements.
But more than all of that, I’m honoured to share my journey and what I’ve learned so that others can aspire, reach and grow.
Intentional leaders mentor and develop more leaders ... and my intention is to keep doing that.
Leadership credibility matters.
Written by Jilinda Lee - recognised leadership coach and mentor for leaders and managers, the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and champion partner of the Lean In global movement – encouraging and enabling more women to step up into lead roles.
Vital Leaders mission is to develop more dynamic, authentic, and emotionally intelligent, engaging leaders.