At the start of my career, I didn’t had anything more than a bookish idea about what it really takes to become a good manager. Now, I’m the founder and managing director at QuickFMS, a pioneer in facility management space, and I can say with my vast experience of managing different tasks and all kinds of people that becoming a good manager isn’t so hard if you can acquire the right attitude and right skills.
A manager has the most fundamental tasks to keep the company and its resources, especially the human resource, working in the right direction to achieve the set goals and objectives in the agreed time frame. The tasks of a manager can be broadly categorized as such:
- Setting the goals and objectives and the time frame in which they are to be achieved.
- Dividing the tasks into manageable activities and selecting the right people to do it.
- Creating a team by integrating the available tasks and resources, and keeping them motivated through communications.
- Tracking and analyzing the work done against the set goals and appraising or interpreting over them for future objectives.
- Developing or help in developing his co-workers or staff according to the needs of the knowledge economy.
To be able to successfully achieve these tasks, you should have the following 7 most important traits in you:
Able to See the Big Picture: You should be able to see the big picture concurrent with managing the details. Most of the failures are because managers get so much consumed by the minor glitches which keep coming in their way that they forget paying attention to the details. A good manager knows how to keep themselves focused on the big picture so that they never get diverted from their bigger objectives.
Understand the Context and Structure: A stellar manager has an indepth knowledge of all the rules, limitations, and guidelines. Knowing the parameters help them wok within the structure without letting the structure impinge upon the process. By knowing the context and structure they are working within, they are also able to guide others for doing the same.
Vulnerable, but Emotionally Intelligent: Vulnerability is about having the courage to show up and be seen. When you share the information with your co-workers, you build a collective consciousness regarding a job in the workplace. However, it also requires you to be emotionally in control so that your compassion shouldn’t turn against you and shouldn’t affect the quality of your work output.
Have a Flair for Research: A good manager is one who can identify others’ talents and turn them into their performance. To succeed in that, managers need to do their own research to identify and deploy the differences among people, challenging each employee to excel in his or her own way.
Know When to Trigger Good Performance: The best manager is the one who knows when and how to recognize the good works of his co-workers in order to boost their satisfaction and their performance. He knows that every person responds to different stimuli. For some, a praise and celebration among his co-workers will be enough, while some will respond better on a one-on-one conversation of praise.
Adapt to the Changes: A true manager can successfully predict and adapt to the upcoming changes in the workstyle because of the changes in the industry. A manager with sound technical expertise are better able to cope with the workstyle changes. This way they are better able to diagnose each employee’s shortness in required skills and able to help them acquire those before it’s too late.
Show Honesty and Fix Accountability: Good managers are honest and transparent in their tasks and with their employees. Being truthful about the company’s goals, and transparency in sharing information is what separates them from others. It also puts them in a better position to fix others’ accountability too so that the employees understand the importance of responsibility for their actions as well.
There are other important qualities that a good manager should possess, such as cultural affinity, positive attitude, warmth and competence, patience, empathy, etc. The reason why I didn’t include them in this article is: first, they are more about humane and less about professional aspects, and second, because everybody should have them. They are needless to say!