What Makes An Ideal Manager?
I’ve asked that question of many people on courses and they all come out with different answers, which is what should be expected. There are so many opinions about this subject, simply because it is so subjective!
However, the truth is when we ask managers and then ask the people who work for them, we get differing answers. But there are some traits that crop up continuously, no matter who you ask, and I discuss some of them here:
Ideal manager traits
• The ideal manager leads by example. They recognise that simply directing or telling will only get short term results at best.
• The ideal manager sets goals with the team in mind. Forcing team members to achieve the unachievable will only cause demotivation and negativity.
• The ideal manager chooses the best style to adopt in the right situation. They choose to direct when in crises, coach when they want to add a challenge, support when necessary and delegate when the right person needs it.
• The ideal manager creates the environment for his team to motivate themselves. They recognise it is impossible to motivate another person if that person chooses not to be motivated
• The ideal manager chooses the best time, place and manner for feedback, recognising that not only is the quality of feedback instrumental in driving performance, but also the feedback is a necessary and influential part of the whole communication process between themselves and their team members
• The ideal manager knows the best way to communicate with their team members. They don’t treat all team members the same but recognise that each one is influenced by the style the manager chooses to adopt in dealings with them
• The ideal manager is inspirational in the way they deal with clients, suppliers, colleagues and their boss. They identify how to deal with every situation in the most effective way and create examples for everyone else to follow.
• The ideal manager knows specifically how to reward and recognise every team members’ contribution to the team effort, and uses every chance to use those reward mechanisms to inspire their team to greater achievements.
• The ideal manager knows that personal development is the key to improving their managerial opportunities, so they consistently and continually look out for ways to improve themselves. At the same time, they model the way they feel their team members can drive their careers forward, sharing examples of how others have inspired them.
This list is only the tip of the iceberg, but it will set you on the path to becoming that ideal manager that every team member would love to work for.
Ideally, should all managers be leaders?
There’s always plenty of discussion around the topic of leadership vs management. In my opinion they are two completely different traits.
Management is all about the task. Leadership is all about the people.
We put together this short video about the difference between the two. So whether you want to know the traits of an ideal manager or an ideal leader you will know!
If you’d like more information on what it takes to become a better manager then why not take our FREE Online Management Course. It consists of 5 modules and you can work through them at your own pace. Alternatively check out our other Management Training solutions.
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Originally published: 10 March, 2011
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