What does it take to be a good Manager?
I have been in a management role for more than 15 years. I believe that is enough time to be able to give my opinion on this subject. I’ve managed very large teams and very small teams. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how big or small, the approach is still the same. You are still dealing with personalities and sometimes, very different and difficult personalities. I’m not here to tell you I have the magic pill that will make you a good manager. I’m also not here to say I am the best manager there is out there. What I can tell you, I never stop trying to get better and better. The better you get, the better results you get!
As a young manager, I was more concerned about what others thought of me. Therefore, I probably didn’t act myself in many situations. I have to say I believe many young managers probably go through something very similar. As you get more experience, your thought process changes and you handle situations differently. It’s more about getting the results for you and the company and less about being “liked.” Sounds easy, right? It’s actually easier than you think. It’s all about people. Again, I can only speak from my experience but I have found RESPECT and TRUST to be the key. You have to respect and cherish the people around you. You have to understand people, understand what makes them tick, and you don’t treat everyone the same. That’s right.. you DON’T treat everyone the same. What makes one person perform, will not make the next person perform. Your goals is to figure out how to get the best out of them.
It starts with building a great team. Hire the right people and surround yourself with confident people who are smarter than yourself. Never be intimidated by this. Remember, you are in the position for a reason so don’t doubt your ability. If you don’t have intelligent people by your side, you and your team won’t continue grow or produce. Always be looking for top talent.
Your responsibility is to steer your team in the right direction. Never stop them from voicing their opinion. Once you shut that line of communication down, you are dead in the water. Listen intently, care about what they are saying, and determine how you need to react. It could very likely be you don’t have to react at all. They just need to be heard! If you do need to react, do it quickly.
What do you do if you inherit a team? Building your own team is easier than inheriting one in many ways. You were not involved in the decision-making process to bring them on board. It’s critical for your own success to access the situation quickly and carefully. You certainly don’t want to make any rash decisions that could cost you. Talent is very hard to come by. In addition, you have to build trust. What I have found is if you listen and make decisions quickly, it can speed up the process.
You may have to make tough decisions along the way that gets you out of your comfort zone. After careful consideration, make the changes that are necessary for success. Making decisions to terminate someone should never be an easy one, but it can’t be highly emotional either. You were put into this role to make the tough calls. Also analyze if this person in the right position. Could they be better suited somewhere else? Maybe you don’t have to terminate their employment after all. Get advice from HR and move forward. Remember, your success and the company’s success depends your decisions and on your team!