When IML refreshed their membership brand last year [formally known as AIM], heralding a deliberate intent to raise the bar in professional standards of managers and leaders, they had my immediate attention. 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 re-energised, agile direction.
On 16 January this year , I officially achieved the internationally recognised, designated status of Chartered Manager – CMgr. What’s that mean, you 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, though a strategic partnership with UK’s Chartered Management Institute – CMI.
So, why become a Chartered Manager? Why did I bother? After all, I already have a Masters in Management (MMgt), and numerous other accreditations in coaching and human behaviour assessments. Well, while that’s great underpinning theory, we all know that it’s hands-on experience, proven results, and continual learning to stay current that matters most.
Just like other professions, standards of practice vary. For example, there are bookkeepers, 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 anyone can use. From attending a weekend coaching course, to completing a full Diploma in Coaching, credibility varies greatly.
Similarly, there are accidental managers who fall into the industry and struggle without support, there are skilled semi-experienced managers who manage operations and outcomes, and there are dynamic leaders who inspire change, ignite growth, influence positive outcomes, and are 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 and experience levels you already have. 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 over the past 18 months. I also had to demonstrate 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. My submission piece was assessed against strict professional ethics and the CMI Code of Conduct and Practice.
Honestly, the process was more challenging than I initially thought it would be – but that’s a good thing. Achieving Chartered Manager status is more than a document of proof or a form-filling exercise. It required considerable introspective reflection on why I do what I do, and particularly, what I learn from each experience. It recognised the vast range of skills I use, often subconsciously, but always intentionally.
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 manager, leader of change, trainer 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 and driving change, how I meet client expectations by using the latest practices, and recognition of positive outcomes achieved 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 each year through a CPD reporting process.
Embedded into our leadership development programs, is a trust formula for leaders, which is fundamentally about building credibility.
Character + Competence + Consistency = TRUST.
The Chartered Manager 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 the Chartered Manager designation and proudly upholding those standards, means I stand out from the mediocre, and stand proud as an intentional leader – as a trusted 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 above all 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.