There’s no secret recipe that you can cook up to instantly be an amazing manager. Nor does every excellent manager do everything the same as other business managers. However, there are some steps you can take and considerations you can make to improve your management and leadership skills. By doing so, you’ll help further your company and career.
If you have the privilege to see a great business leader in action, you’ll notice that they exemplify many of the below points. Sure, not every manager will check every box, but even if so, they’ll adhere to many if not most of the guidelines. Anyone looking to excel at business leadership can start by incorporating the following traits.
1. An Excellent Leader is Also a Great Listener
A leader must know when and how to listen. Many leaders are very passionate about what they do. It’s easy for that passion to become overwhelming, and some otherwise great leaders end up charging into things without listening to others.
However, even the greatest leader doesn’t know everything and can’t comprehend every perspective, at least not on his or her own. By listening to others, business leaders can educate themselves. They may learn of risks they didn’t see or opportunities they were failing to take advantage of.
At the very least, their employees will know they listen.
2. Great Managers Are Great Coaches
A great manager has to know how to coach both the team and themselves. That means constant learning, both for the team and one’s self. People grow through learning. For managers, they have to make sure they teach the team, providing essential skills and relating experience.
A manager will need to provide feedback. This feedback should be fair, balanced, and actionable. Never make anything personal or permanent. Sometimes, you may have to use a dose of tough love. However, make sure that it’s always designed to encourage personal growth. Find positive attributes and help lay the groundwork for a holistic path for growth.
3. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
A great business manager doesn’t just prioritize. Most importantly, he or she knows what to prioritize. Whenever something is moved to the top of the list, that means something else further on down the list will get less attention. For this reason, it’s vital to know what to prioritize and when to do so.
A good manager will focus on the vital few. S/he will let the teams know what the priorities are and why. Not only does this help ensure that work is getting done, but it can also make the work itself more meaningful.
4. An Ability to Truly Focus on Goals
Everyone knows it’s important to focus. However, many of us have also come to realize that focusing can be difficult. A good manager is a manager who can truly focus and who won’t get distracted. This focus will help them get through their priorities more quickly and will help ensure that goals are achieved in a timely and effective manner.
5. Know and Manage Capacity
A great business leader will know the capacity of not just their company, but also every individual team. Don’t overload or grind teams to dust. In the long run, this will reduce productivity and will burn employees out. Know capacity, respect it, and manage it. By doing so you’ll build a team that is more effective and efficient.
6. Be a Champion
It’s not enough to preach, you truly must evangelize. Make sure you sell every project. Explain why it’s important and how everyone will benefit. When an employee does an excellent job, evangelize them as well. Be visible and make sure you stick up for your team when need be. By being at the forefront and being a champion for your team and projects, you’ll inspire others.
7. Acknowledge Victories and Wins
Make sure you praise your employees when they do good. You don’t have to be over the top, but a little bit of appreciation can go a long way. Recognize and reward hard work, especially when someone scores a win. Make sure you share the spotlight. Don’t take credit that you don’t deserve either. Doing so will shatter trust and demotivate employees. Remember, as a manager, your goal is to build an excellent team not to be an out-of-this-world individual employee.
8. Build Trust and Acknowledge Vulnerability
Everyone makes mistakes. The greatest business leaders in the world will make mistakes. A great manager will make sure that employees know that it’s okay to make mistakes. What’s important is that employees try to minimize the impacts of their mistakes and learn from them. This will generate growth and in the long run, will produce better results.
9. Help Employees Focus on Their Strengths
Every employee will have his or her own strengths and weaknesses. As a manager, you must identify these. Then, you have to empower your employees to focus on their strengths. This will build a team that is stronger overall.
10. Lead with Principles, Not Blind Rules
A rule is meant to be broken, right? Perhaps more accurately, rules shouldn’t be immutable and should instead be based on principles. Don’t install rules if they don’t make sense or won’t improve the team collaboration, workplace, or project. If you do, you’ll just wear your employees down more quickly.
Instead, focus on principles that embrace and support wholesome values. For example, people should restrict talk to “above the board”. To illustrate, don’t spread whispers behind people’s back. By focusing on principles, you will empower people and help them move forward.
11. Lead by Example
Finally, it’s important to do more than talking. It’s vital to lead by example, to get in the trenches and get work done. Bad managers tend to cling to the notion of “do I say, not as I do.” Great managers should do the opposite.
If you want the team to be more open with and to ideas or feedback, then be more open yourself. If you want them to be enthusiastic, then make sure you’re enthusiastic. Whatever it is you want to see, make sure you exemplify it yourself.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps managers and business leaders collaborate with their teams. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…