10 Things GREAT Managers Do
Employees crib about their bosses. That’s a common and undocumented phenomena seen at workplace. There is no denying about it. But it would be a bigger problem if others perceive you as a mediocre manager. We know it even when colleagues, subordinates don’t say things on our face. If you ask your colleagues “Did you ever had a good manager?” You would certainly heard of the phrase “S/He was the best boss I ever had”. They have their reasons to call him/her as the best boss and reasons could be situational, contextual and sometimes really noteworthy. It leads to a question – what are those things great manager do differently?
Leaders Are Born And Not Made, Really?
If you have managed a team or still managing a team, you know it: to be a good manager is pretty difficult than you would like to think. Keep being a good boss is even more difficult. Reason? The good managerial traits or skills do not come naturally to most of us. There is bit of a truth about “leaders are born and not made” but conscious and sustained effort can help you become a good manager.
What Makes The Real Difference?
There are statistics from research reports which point out that, though many “designated managers” have communication, time management skills but few managers have the talent or ability to lift the team’s performance, help them excel and thus considerably improve organisation’s performance. What difference do these astute managers make?
- Team involvement
- Customer engagement
- Culture of higher productivity
Leadership Actions Can Affect Employee Performance
There are managerial approach or leadership styles such as: autocratic, democratic, and participative style. It is all the more important to understand how does this managerial style impact the employee performance. e.g. the Participative Style of leadership has highly positive impact on the employee performance in those situation wherein employee feel power and confidence in performing their job and even in taking their own decisions or even seemingly odd decisions. And in Autocratic Style wherein only the manager takes the decision and it makes subordinates feel incompetent or develop inferiority complex while doing their jobs or making decisions. On the other hand, Democratic Style subordinates have bit more discretionary power to make their own decisions and while performing their work (Okay, that was relatively more discretionary compared to autocratic style). Usually, one of these managerial styles would be naturally prominent to you. However you will have to make deliberate attempt to acquire/hone the other style(s) to balance the natural tendency, depending on the situation.
It is interesting to make a note from Executive Leadership Survey Report, Fuqua Center, Duke University, that leadership actions can affect performance, but only if the leader is seen as responsible and inspirational.
Employee Engagement Is a Big Challenge
The academic and business related literature (sagepub, CCSE, B2C, etc.) in the recent past has identified employee engagement as one of the biggest challenge leadership is facing to drive higher performance.
Employee engagement signifies
- Communication: top-down, bottom-up, peer
- Shared vision, strategies, goals, capabilities and values
- Trust toward leadership
- Celebrating successes, holding your grounds through tough times
- Career progression, training & development opportunities
- Evaluation of success parameters, personal, business growth
Though surveys or research finding such as one done by Gallup, points out that more than 50% of employees are not engaged at all by their organizations. That brings us to the very important attribute of a great manager – employee connect.
Great Managers Are Excellent HR Managers:
I remember a CEO of fortune 1000 company once said, “At the end of the day, CEO is a HR person, and all he does is people management.”.
So beside strategic thinking, business risk profiling, exploring/implementing new opportunities, articulation, etc capabilities required for you to lead/guide your organization; you certainly need to look at following 10 things that great managers do, and they are really good at it.
10 Things Great Managers Do?
- They Select The Right Team
- They Set Right Expectations and outcome oriented growth
- They Motivate Team Members Aligning Their Strengths
- They Set Easier Processes & Systems That Enable Team Perform Better
- They Give Credit to Team Whenever and Wherever It is Due
- They Make Employee Feel Involved, Ensure Shared Vision
- They Are Empathic People
- They Are Open To Hear New Ideas, Views
- They Keep Their Egos in Check, Keep Cool Even During Crisis
- They Clearly Tell Team If It Is Shooting Itself In The Foot
In the next post, we will get into details of each of those 10 things great managers do
Additional readings about project management, leadership
- Case Study: What Happens When Project Team Has Dual Reporting
- Avoid These 10 Most Common Mistakes That Leads to Project Failure
- Back2Basics: Ultimate Project Management Guide: Project Planning
- 8 Reasons to Decide Whether Your Organization Needs Project Management Office
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