Good managers can get great results from average employees, while bad ones destroy morale and get mediocre results from smart people. Most mid-level managers are usually thrust into that position after demonstrating great expertise at an unrelated skill like sales, programming or product development. Very few of them develop good management skills.
Role of A Manager
The role of a manager varies from organization to organization, however, if we have to generalize the job description, then his job would be to manage time, money, people, and resources.
The hardest task is to manage people, because human beings are some of the most complex creatures and it involves a lot of tact and expertise to manage them. People’s livelihoods and careers can heavily depend on a manager.
Traits of An Effective Manager
He is clear about the goals of the organization
It’s not uncommon to see senior managers just drift through their days with no purpose and imagination. They have no clue about the goals of the organization, and end up spending time on activities that are not taking them closer to organizational goals. As someone famous said, “If your goal is the Mount Everest, make sure that every step you take is towards the Everest.”
Sets clear expectations from his team members
A very common complaint among team members with bad managers is that they are absolutely unclear about what is expected from them. A good manager sets clear objectives for his team. Every person on the team is communicated his roles and responsibilities. It may not always be important to micro-manage people by telling people what exactly needs to be done to get there. But a good manager is very clear about the destination. It may not be important to tell your team member what to do to get there, but it’s important to let him know the end result.
Understands the strengths and weaknesses of each person on the team
Every person is different, each with their unique strengths and weaknesses. Some team members may not be organized but they may be very good at connecting with people and building relationships, someone else might be detail-oriented in their approach but may not get the big picture. A good manager aligns the right person with the right job.
Numbers Driven and Analytical
The basic principle of management is “what gets measured gets managed.” A good manager is always trying to measure his daily tasks. He prioritizes his activities and focuses only on those that get him closer to his goals.
Identifies and develops talent
The success of any organization depends on the talent it can attract and keep. Great managers also need to be great leaders who can identify and nurture talent. It’s like picking up a rough diamond and polishing it to make it look sharp. Here is where good management skills are tested to the core.
Sometimes, team members themselves are not aware of their talents. In those situations, It becomes the Managers prerogative to identify their natural strengths and encourage them to develop it. Leadership skills can also be handy.
Besides these good management skills, good managers need to be good at conflict resolution, coming up with solutions to everyday problems, handling stress and being able to think on their feet when there is an emergency.
I’ve had the good fortune of working with some really good managers, and some bad ones too. The good ones taught me what to do, and the bad ones taught me what not to do. If you are looking to hire an effective manager for your organization, now you know what to look for.
By all means, this is not a fully exhaustive list, and it’s solely my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree with them. You may express your thoughts and ask questions in the comments section below.
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