Career Development Programmes

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What does it take to make a great success of a management position?

The GIBS Career Development Programmes answer this question at four levels:

  • for managers in a first-level management position
  • for those managing other managers OR managing a functional unit
  • for general managers, and
  • for specialists
By the end of each programme, participants should be able to:
  • describe best practice management at their level and apply it to their specific management job
  • assess their own performance against this benchmark
  • create a personal development plan to use their strengths to meet the demands of excellence in their job
  • apply some tips and tools applicable to that level.

The programmes take the form of workshops in which managers discover the challenges of best practice and then work out practically how to meet them in their own way and in their own organisation.

Each workshop uses case studies, self-assessment and feedback exercises with experienced small group facilitators, simulations, discussions, guest speakers and practical exercises. Three of the programmes have a follow-up day to coach the manager in learning from the 90 days after the workshop and in consolidating the benefits for the future.

The practical, interactive design of the workshops enables the participants to customise the programme to their own experience and to the requirements of their own company.​

Who should attend?

These programmes are intended for managers in the three broad levels of management described below. Because shared experience is a critically important part of the process, participants should already be appointed to and managing at the level described for the course. Participants who are self-employed or work in small, entrepreneurial organisations should consult with the programme manager to establish the most appropriate programme.

Which programme will suit me?

The following points should help you decide which of the programmes is most appropriate for you. For more guidance in this, please visit and complete the Management Levels exercise.

1. Managing for Results is designed for managers in their first full management position. In this role you need to

  • plan at least a year ahead for projects, budget and your workforce​
  • interpret strategy and operational priorities at team level
  • drive performance for others who report directly to you, delegate tasks and hold subordinates accountable for their performance
  • solve problems or draw on the team to solve them
  • measure your own effectiveness in the success of your direct reports.

2. Managing Managers for Results is designed for those managing a function or department, and having to shift from managing individuals and teams to managing complex systems and multiple teams. At this level you are likely to have managers reporting to you and need to

  • drive performance of multiple teams and/or a functional department
  • have a complete understanding of the business model that extends beyond your own function
  • make time to develop first line managers in the role of coach
  • deploy and redeploy resources among units
  • communicate over at least two levels of management, vertically and horizontally
  • develop a network of contacts, both throughout the organisation and outside it
  • develop medium to long term strategic direction and goals (two years or more) for your area of responsibility within the context of the overall business strategy.

3. General Management for Results is designed for general managers with profit and loss responsibility for a business or business unit. At this level you are fully responsible for the performance and results of your unit, and need to be able to

  • take personal responsibility for the performance and results of your unit
  • develop industry and competitive knowledge
  • develop and communicate a persuasive vision for the company, and communicate that vision internally and externally
  • change from looking at plans and proposals functionally (“Can we do it technically, professionally and physically?”) to a profit perspective (“Will we make money?”) and to a long-term view (“Are the profits sustainable?”)
  • develop and coach new business managers and ensure leadership succession
  • manage, value and integrate all the different functions of the business
  • put time aside for reflection and analysis about the long term success of the business
  • trust, act on advice, and receive feedback from all functional managers, even though you may not have personal experience in all the functions
  • maintain a network of contacts that include other business leaders, and governmental, regulatory and community leaders who influence the direction of your business and industry.

For more information on the GIBS Career Development Programmes, please contact the Programme Advisor, Mbali Mncwabe on 011 771 4302 or e-mail

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