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Line Production Manager Profile:
Compare High Performers to Low Producers

Position Overview: The ideal individual in this position drive his/her team to clearly measurable results which can be duplicated each production day with little deviation; requires the ability to make decisions efficiently with less rather than more information available while also looking in this process to both short term and long term goals; inspires others in the team to achieve with strong leadership skills and written communications.

Predictive Skills: Nine characteristics will predict sales rep success in this manager position. Review below how top sales performers will differ from lower performers.


Accepts accountability for bottom-line results; seeks control and the final authority to make decisions impacting bottom-line results; focuses on incremental but significant improvements in the efficiency, quality, and profitability of short-term results; takes an authoritative approach to enlisting the necessary support to implement decisions, using logic to address any opposition; seeks a course that softens the negative impact on others without being diverted from his objective


  • Uses his authority to make key decisions that determine profitability
  • Prefers a directive management approach in communicating standards and expectations, and is only participative when dealing with those individuals who don't require direction
  • Bases his decisions upon input from informed players, then works to guarantee results by taking charge, making clear the rationale behind his decision, and working around or influencing dissenters
  • Focuses on improving the organization’s competitive advantage through continuous refinement of relevant business systems, building solutions gradually and looking toward concrete and realistic goals
  • Develops general management skills and a broad-based knowledge rather than draw upon a specific discipline or selected expertise to impact the bottom-line
  • Demonstrates a valid concern for how others may respond to his decisions or course of action without being diverted from his commitment to the identified optimum course of action


  • Prefers to employ indirect influence techniques rather than take charge to make key decisions and then sell them to the organization
  • Believes in the synergy of teams and tends to support and/or succumb to group decisions
  • Sponsors collaboration and may concede his own judgment to achieve consensus
  • Tends to disregard critical incremental refinements accomplished through repetition and look for major improvement breakthroughs, even though these may not increase bottom-line profitability
  • Prefers to operate as a specialist who can be true to a specific discipline
  • Lacks an awareness of or sensitivity to how peers, subordinates, or superiors may react to his directives or course of action and does not anticipate or prepare for the impact he can have on others


Focuses on measurable and near-term results and outputs; emphasizes efficiency, cost control and refinement of the processes and procedures that produce incremental gains; controls risk by modifying existing systems to increase productivity versus launching an unproven idea; consistently applies a methodology that is working and will not change or abandon that approach for the sake of trying something different; promotes the desired approach and enlists participation by authoritatively demonstrating its benefits and logically responding to questions and concerns, so those involved can understand and will not feel threatened


  • Thrives in a situation that demands the optimization and refinement of an existing technology or function at an efficient, effective level
  • Through repetition, seeks the opportunity to fine-tune systems, optimize profitability and efficiency, and refine the operational learning curve
  • Guards against failure by implementing proven methods with slight modifications as needed to address changing requirements
  • Effectively manages the execution of business processes where cost control and consistent quality output are required for the viability of the organization
  • Takes suggestions under advisement but finds it most efficient to be the final authority
  • Sensitive to how others will react to his protection or advancement of system stability and takes steps to send a clear message that addresses concerns and conveys expectations


  • Opts for creativity and building new applications of a known technology, and finds it more satisfying to seek new challenges than to manage and refine existing applications
  • Prefers to invest his effort in finding breakthrough improvements and focus more on growth and innovation than preventing negatives and controlling risk
  • Designing and developing new processes can take priority over outputs
  • Depends upon consensus and team input to move people toward the desired objective


Delegates and follows up in order to expand control; effectively directs through multiple levels or a complex infrastructure; selects the appropriate individuals for specific tasks or responsibilities and allows them to operate independently under their own recognizance as long as they produce results; assigns responsibility for an outcome and builds in checkpoints to verify expected progress and refine any differences in the expected outcome with the direct report


  • Understands the capacity and limitations of others in making assignments
  • Provides subordinates with the authority to decide and act within areas of assigned duties
  • Ensures that individuals have the necessary resources to complete assignments
  • Clearly states expected results and review points with experienced subordinates, and includes methods with less capable subordinates
  • Gives sufficient explanation and commits to consistent follow-up to ensure tasks are completed on time and to standard
  • Communicates specific evaluation criteria
  • Clarifies the priority of the assignment relative to other assignments the individual may have
  • Discusses and establishes appropriate procedures to be kept informed of subordinates’ work progress
  • Identifies deviations from the goal through periodic progress reports


  • Is reluctant to engage in activities appropriate to his current position; wants to continue doing what he was effectively doing before rather than trust others to carry out the delegated task
  • Expects subordinates to approach and complete a task exactly as he would
  • Perceives subordinates as lacking in competence and believes no one else can be as effective and efficient in completing the assignment
  • Wants to constantly hand-hold to satisfy a desire to be of personal assistance and to provide personal attention
  • Fears a loss of control and prefers a strong hands-on approach to system-driven control and reliance on a monitoring process
  • Once tasks are delegated, tends to abdicate responsibility to the individual for the final result and assume others will follow through without a system in place to check progress and results
  • Inconsistent or unclear in stating expected results or communicating timeframes, resources, and positive or negative consequences of various performance levels


Bases decisions on available information supported by an understanding of overall goals; makes difficult decisions when 'under fire' or faced with tight deadlines; is capable of making sound business decisions in a timely manner; relies heavily on past experience and management seasoning as the basis for decision-making; willing to make a best guess in those situations where speed and relative accuracy and effectiveness are most necessary or appropriate


  • Collects and organizes data quickly and intuitively
  • Able to make realistic assumptions without extensive information
  • Initiates action promptly, despite uncertainty of outcome; makes the best decision possible at any given point in time
  • Makes quick decisions based on the best data available, backed up with intuitive experience in urgent situations
  • Separates key information from irrelevant data
  • Focuses on key priorities and does not overreact to minor crises or spread himself too thin
  • Is willing to abandon research paths or developmental projects that are not meeting agreed upon expectations


  • Tends to defer a decision until all the options are completely evaluated
  • Hesitates to take action or commit to a decision if uncertain of the outcome
  • Needs to clearly see the entire solution or path before proceeding with the early steps
  • Tries to absorb an excessive amount of information to ensure the final decision is based on facts rather than potentially faulty judgment or nonobjective standards
  • Gets bogged down in unnecessary information; ‘leaves no stone unturned’
  • Is uncomfortable with broad generalizations and finds it necessary to investigate every possible detail as he believes that sloppy decisions are bad decisions, even if they turn out to be right


Makes thorough, well-researched decisions that account for and are compatible with overall goals and priorities; determines the significance of all pros and cons and the likelihood of success; identifies and plans contingencies; takes into account how any specific decision fits into the broader context of organizational goals and priorities


  • Understands overall goals/policies/procedures and incorporates them into decisions
  • Analyzes and prioritizes conflicting priorities
  • Will not sacrifice major needs or long-term objectives to make decisions that are easier or more convenient to carry out
  • Remains objective and interprets situations insightfully
  • Seeks sufficient information to anticipate possible barriers and avert their impact
  • Spends time studying issues and weighing the pros and cons of alternative approaches prior to making decisions
  • Plans alternative contingencies to cover consequences of unexpected ramifications


  • Prefers a more tactical versus strategic view or departmental versus organizational view when weighing options and making decisions
  • Could selectively search for data that supports his own predetermined opinion or suppositions
  • May discount contradictory data or put his own interpretation on the data rather than allow the facts to speak for themselves
  • Insufficient reflection on possible obstacles or alternatives can lead to surprises when making decisions
  • May be satisfied with superficial planning rather than pursue a rigorous identification of pros, cons, and alternative approaches as contingencies


Provides written information that is organized and succinct and leaves no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation; refrains from including unnecessary embellishments that can detract from the message being communicated; commits to accuracy and precision in written documentation


  • Recognizes the need for thoroughness and accuracy in communicating or documenting information in a written format
  • Seeks to make an impact or to influence others through his writing
  • Understands and values the power of well-written communications
  • Leaves no room for misunderstanding by methodically crafting and carefully editing his message to clearly convey his intent


  • Fails to effectively organize written communications in such a way as to have the desired impact on the reader
  • May find it difficult to organize his thoughts on paper
  • Lacks interest in the techniques and precision required for written communication
  • May seek the immediate reaction provided by oral communication and prefer the opportunity to edit his message based on audience response


Maintains priorities by keeping the focus specific and defined; helps others to understand key priorities by repeatedly articulating the goals and how each contributes; has the ability to inspire and influence others; gains followers by being easy to follow; gives credit to others and assumes responsibility for external obstacles; motivates others by helping them to feel good about themselves


  • Works to understand what will make people feel better about themselves and what they are expected to do (empowers others)
  • Elicits cooperation through persuasion rather than authority
  • Earns respect rather than demands it
  • Makes views known in a clear manner without eliciting negative feelings
  • Gains a following by understanding what motivates or satisfies different people and adjusting to meet those needs
  • Develops ‘champions’ who are capable of acting self-sufficiently
  • Runs interference and fights for resources for his group while passing credit to the individual contributors
  • Focuses others on priorities by communicating simply and repetitively
  • Eliminates any irrelevant issues that will cloud the objectives


  • Assumes that all subordinates share the same goals and fails to distinguish between different needs, motivations and objectives, using the same techniques to influence everybody
  • Happier to contribute from a support role than to assume the responsibility for drawing subordinates to him
  • Does not step into the role of being a potential catalyst for a team effort
  • Relies on the authority of his position and title to influence subordinates
  • Introduces too many concurrent directions or critical success factors to keep subordinates focused on key priorities
  • Loses power by expecting subordinates to commit to more objectives than they can handle


Absorbs new information quickly and is comfortable dealing with abstract concepts and relationships; relates new information to previously acquired knowledge to expand and refine his frame of reference; enjoys learning and expanding the breadth and depth of his understanding on a variety of subjects


  • Enjoys learning and broadening his depth of learning and insight in a wide array of topics
  • Absorbs, stores and recalls new information quickly
  • Deals comfortably with abstract concepts and relationships
  • Pursues academic, theoretical or research-based information


  • Needs repetition to process new information and requires additional time to integrate it into his repertoire
  • Prefers concrete tasks
  • Learns best through one-on-one instruction and improves his base skill level through experience and hard work
  • Uses practice opportunities or trial runs to become completely knowledgeable of and comfortable with methods or techniques he needs to use


Systematically applies a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning to arrive at a well-founded, logical conclusion; remains objective in analyzing information and data so as not to make false assumptions or reach judgments without full knowledge and information; recognizes and neutralizes personal biases that can influence his thought process; effectively weighs the accuracy of different types of information in order to define a problem and reach a valid conclusion


  • Possesses strong deductive reasoning skills and is capable of thinking through problems in a systematic and logical manner
  • Draws sound conclusions from the information presented
  • Effectively weighs the accuracy of different types of information, including inferences, abstractions, or generalizations
  • Maintains a detached/objective demeanor in the gathering and analysis of information


  • Allows biases to prevent him from seeing all sides of an issue and influence his perception
  • Quickly draws conclusions or makes assumptions without full knowledge and information
  • Makes decisions according to clearly defined rules and depends upon an existing frame of reference in unfamiliar situations
  • A penchant for action versus analysis leads him to move forward with minimal review of critical input or weighing of alternatives
  • Relies on previously acquired information and like-minded people for input into decisions

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