Some of your clients may be sceptical about the quality of their managers.

Like many business owners who have become the bottleneck in their business they will be desperate to get out from under all the things that, apparently, only they can do and the decisions that, apparently, only they can make.  They won't see their managers as part of the solution but as part of the problem.

Sometimes they'll see the solution as finding some “big hitters” from larger businesses who wil help them achieve their ambitious growth targets..

Yoru first question needs to be how they know that managers aren’t up to the task.  The answer will often be a series of anecdotes about failures to do x or inability to understand the importance of y.  Now you need to probe when and how yoor client really explained to them where the business was going, what their role in this was and what success in the role looked like.

You may also find that every time an employee comes to your client with a problem he or she solves it for them – whether that was an angry customer or a blocked sink.  This is a good way of training managers to be helpless.

At this point you could suggest that perhaps some or all of them might indeed be incapable of managiing but they neeed to be given the chance to prove it one way or the other.  Furthermore, replacing them with strangers on twice the salary is, to put it mildly, a risk – particularly when they will be hired into the same disfunctional setup.

You can then help your client put in place a framework (following the Systemisation Roadmap) that allows them to develop their managers and quickly establish whether he or she had indeed been desperately unlucky in hiring nothing but clowns or whether some other common factor was in play.  Suggest they involve their staff in thinking about the future of the business, get them to create their own job descriptions focused on responsibilities, devise with them simple performance measurements and discuss these in regular management meetings.  Suggest your client stops giving them answers, instead taking every question as a chance to coach them to a solution and reinforce their responsibility.

Your client should see some quick improvements..  Firstly, finding he has much more time to focus on the long term.  Secondly, managers starting to develop their own working arrangements and solving their own problems.