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Almost everyone has suffered at one time or another under a lousy manager – someone who is aloof, argumentative, authoritative, cold or insensitive.  That person who only appears when there is a problem and then it’s to reprimand some poor slouch who didn’t know what he or she was doing in the first place because goals were never identified and expectations never clarified.  There are also the horror stories of the narcissistic romancer, the clueless storyteller, and the back stabbing wicked witch (oh, wait…those are mine…!)

So, what makes a good manager?  I think we all have our own definitions.  A better way to qualify might be to ask, “What makes an effective manager.”  There are a few key traits that all effective managers share.  I’ve put together my own “Top 10” list– in no particular order.

1.  Trustworthy with impeccable integrity.
2.  Dependable, competent and responsive.
3.  Optimistic attitude.
4.  Productive and results oriented.
5.  Has a clear vision and goals for the team.
6.  Excellent communicator and better listener.
7.  Coach and mentor.
8.  Able to resolve conflict.
9.  Remains calm under stress.
10.Excels in key job-relevant skills.

Leadership is a critical element, and encompasses some of the above characteristics. Leadership is what “separates the men from the boys” in management (sorry girls, it’s an expression.)  The distinction is that management skills can be taught.  Leadership comes from within.

On what qualities do you choose and evaluate your managers?

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