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10 Traits of a terrific manager

27th March 2019

Business success depends on a blend of passion, performance and people skills brought to life by behaviours and relationships from the C-Suite to the shop floor.

But ultimately, the buck stops with bosses —and for thought leaders like Gordon Tredgold, a lack of quality at the top is the number one cause of business failure.

If you want to be a leader who inspires loyalty and peak performance, our 10 traits of a terrific manager make essential reading

1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

EQ helps you maintain positive relationships by managing your emotions and those of your team. This ramps up retention — staff are 400 per cent less likely to leave a job if they have a high EQ manager.

2. Communication skills

Effective managers should have sharp and clear oral and written communication skills. But put listening first — a keen ear that’s attuned to staff needs and considers their suggestions is paramount.

3. Coaching skills

Google recently revealed that being considered ‘a good coach’ is the top trait of their successful managers. It’s essential to take time to understand individual team members’ motivations, provide pertinent guidance and furnish constructive feedback.

4. Expertise

Being a skilled technician doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be an effective manager. But demonstrating a high level of expertise in a core area of your operations doesn’t go amiss — it projects an air of authenticity and authoritativeness.

5. Future vision

If you can’t explain your future vision for your firm, how do you expect to motivate staff for your mission? Simply ‘making money’ won’t inspire them to stick with you through thick and thin — but a clear business vision of providing a product or service that makes life easier for millions of customers might.

6. Integrity

Integrity involves saying what you mean and meaning what you say, but it also entails always behaving in a way that reflects declared organisational values in every interaction. Once staff start suspecting double dealing or hypocrisy, trust is tough to rebuild.

7. Empowering teams

Micromanaging is one of the most negative management traits — empowering teams by trusting them to perform and excel is much more effective. Self-managed teams are often high-performing, so one of the most underrated leadership skills is ‘letting go’.

8. Supporting development

Entrepreneur Richard Branson suggests organisations should ‘train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to’.

It’s sage advice — proactively develop employees in areas beyond the details of their job descriptions in order to uncover hidden talents and encourage them to stick around longer.

9. Decisiveness

Confidence can occasionally be misplaced — but combine it with decisiveness that leads to positive results and you’re on the way to developing a potent leadership formula. When you act decisively rather than dithering, your team feels more secure.

10. Passion

Last but not least comes passion — if you’re not genuinely enthused and driven by your company’s vision (and your team’s role in making it reality), it’s time to reassess why you’re occupying a leadership post at all.

Our 10 traits spell out the difference between barely managing and leading like a legend, so bear them in mind as you carve out your career.

Fancy yourself as a future leader? Our online Management BA (Hons) prepares your path.

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