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Management behaviours I like

November 22, 2012

My blog is full of rants. Things that annoy me, things I think are pointless and perhaps that’s partly because it is easy to critcise but also part of the reason I do this blog is to get stuff off my chest. But today someone suggested on my “crap managers” post that actually I try to write about managers I like. So I will.  And I have seen lots and lots of good managers along the way. For me it’s a bit like always remembering the great teacher that inspired you – great managers are the same.

So herewith I give you

My Top Ten Manager Behaviours I like

  1. Confidence. Not arrogance, but the display of a confident leader inspires me. Doesn’t have to be big bold and brassy, can be quiet and self assured. But it needs to be there
  2. Vision. I like the manager to know where he or she is trying to get to – whatever obstacles get put in the way.
  3. Clarity of thought. relates to 2 above –  they need to be able to express clearly what they want and not change their mind every two seconds.
  4. Visibility. Invisible managers – be it off site, at meetings or locked away in their offices are basically abdicating their responsibility. Those who are around, on the office floor, talking to their reports get a real feel of what the issues are, how things are going, how people are feeling and allows people to access them in an informal way. It’s not as  big a deal to make a suggestion when you are used to seeing your boss on a daily basis.
  5. Listening and actively seeking reports’ views. Listening to people who volunteer suggestions and ideas is great, but the managers I  really admire are the ones who also manage to get the quiet, reserved, introverts to tell them how they see how the business could improve.
  6. Being concerned about their reports. Not in a maternal wipe your nose kind of way, but to know what is going on in their lives and how that may impact them.
  7. Understanding the difference between being respected and being liked by their reports. I like managers who are not after winning the popularity contest at all costs, but do want to do a great job and be recognised for that. Thus they focus on the results and getting the best out of everybody rather than trying to make sure everyone likes them.
  8. Responsiveness. Managers who are good at giving both positive and negative feedback (in a timely manner)  help clarify exactly what is required and I think makes everyone more comfortable that they know what they are meant to be doing.
  9. Knowing their reports. Taking time to understand what works for some does not work for all and that’s OK. And therefore being able to manage different people differently. And similarly knowing what each of their reports is actually doing –  who is working hard, who is inefficient, who has a tendency to be lazy, who never volunteers….
  10. Developing their reports. Managers who want all their reports to excel are inspiring. Helping them to develop their potential even though they know it means they will move on.
  11. Being  prepared to do the difficult stuff – telling someone they aren’t pulling their weight can never be easy but it has to be done as otherwise people feel others are getting away with doing poor work which can be very demotivating.
  12. Being prepared to roll their sleeves up and muck in when neccessary.
  13. Not micro managing –  being prepared to trust and support their reports to deliver without continual interference.
  14. Giving credit where credit is due.  This is not always as obvious as it sounds as quite often a middle manager will have presented something as their own work whereas in fact it may have had large input from others. The truly great manager will see through that and be able to recognise the real contributors.
  15. Team building. Great managers work out how best to build their teams and take the time to recognise efforts/achievements in a way that resonates with their team. (A day’s paintballing is not everyone’s idea of morale boosting)
  16. Managers who take no shit. Those who defend their team or department from unfair external criticism
  17. Managers who take the hit. Those who do not immediately point the finger at the underling who got the figures wrong and is able to stand up and say ‘Sorry, I got this one wrong.’
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2 Responses to “Management behaviours I like”

  1. Kate Says:

    like this one too – think few and far between tho – its what makes a good manager stand out so much – what a shame. Still I expect its the law of averages again.


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