Managing people is almost impossible to do well. And for senior management, finding qualified people to hold mid-level management positions is difficult as well.

Gallup released a poll recently that illustrated not only how hard management is, but how all too often the wrong people get chosen for the position. It concluded that companies choose the wrong candidate for a management role an alarming 82% of the time. Which means you could line up 10 random managers and, on average, eight will not have the skills to effectively do their job.

Moreover, it concludes that only one in 10 people have the right combination of skills to become an effective manager to begin with. So if you do have someone with the right skills, they will often be overlooked.

This is important beyond the ranks of management. These people have the capacity to significantly influence employee morale so the choice of a manager with the requisite skill set becomes even more crucial. As banks try to increase revenue, especially non-interest revenue, these issues should be front and center; they cannot be ignored.

The first order of business is to see the exceptions to the rule and take a look at our cover story, the Top 20 Program Managers. We’ve spent the past few months taking nominations, analyzing data and culling our list. We have profiles of the managers as well, so you can learn some of their strategies that got them where they are. We also contacted some of the veterans of the list and asked them for their best insights and tips for both managers and advisors.

Indeed, an issue that you’ll see several times from these veterans is the difficulty in recruiting the right people. And in this far-flung industry, there is also a challenge in face-to-face visits with direct reports. Take a look at their comments, especially if you want to know when you need to play detective for prospecting information.

Learn from their example and join the exceptions. Avoid the majority rule.


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