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Common Attributes of Good Managers — 

After many years of observing managers while seeking answers as to why certain managers are successful and others seem to fail, we have developed a list of attributes that seem to help explain why some managers are more effective than others.

One of the primary problems in most businesses is a lack of qualified management personnel. Bear in mind that people are the key factor in the success of any business and it all starts with the management team. Too many organizations do little or nothing to advance the skills of management personnel and even fewer make the tough decision to terminate ineffective managers and supervisors when necessary.

When it is time to identify someone for a management position, it helps immensely to look for certain attributes that tend to be found in good managers. The following list is certainly not a complete one, but it seems to form a good foundation in terms of identifying what attributes are common among good managers:

  • They possess strong people skills in terms of understanding and relating well to them.
  • They have strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • They maintain a sense of fairness in dealing with people and issues.
  • They are consistent in dealing with issues and people.
  • They understand and behave in a manner that conveys a belief that employees are more important to his/her and the company's success than he/she is.
  • They are honest.
  • They are willing to seek input from employees and build consensus.
  • They maintain an open mind.
  • They are flexible.
  • They have a well-controlled ego.
  • They are self-confident.
  • They are good listeners.
  • They are able to be direct when needed without being abusive or offensive.
  • They have a sincere interest in people and their well-being.
  • They possess good perceptive/intuitive abilities.
  • They are mature.  
  • They allow others to get credit for positive outcomes.
  • They understand that hiring good people is critical to their success and they do not micromanage.  
  • They are willing to admit to their own shortcomings and mistakes and do not feel a persistent need to be right.

How do you and other managers/supervisors working in your organization stack up against each of these attributes? Using a five-point scale with 1 being little of a particular attribute and 5 being a lot, rate yourself against this list. If you feel comfortable doing so, have others do the same and compare your perception of the attributes you bring to the workplace to the perceptions of co-workers and subordinates.

We understand that it is a rare person who will rate a 5 for each attribute. When you objectively evaluate yourself against this list, there are likely going to be some 5’s along with lower ratings for other attributes. This exercise, if done objectively, will help you identify where you are strong and where you need to do some work to become more effective. It’s a simple approach, but can be very effective if you are willing to be objective and honest with yourself and then go to work on shoring up areas that need attention.

If you would like to learn more about managing for excellence, click here for more information on Managing People For High Performance, a detailed self-study workbook that was developed as part of the award winning workshop by the same name.



Disclaimer: The information above is for informational and educational purposes only, It does not construe advice. Your use of the information is at your discretion and you assume the sole responsibility of relying on this information at your own risk. 

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