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Top 10 Tips for Being a Great Manager

10th March 2012

Being a Great Manager is About More than just Giving Out Orders and Telling People what to do…

This is not and never has really been the case, but in today’s busy ever increasingly competitive world, there is less and less room for ineffective managers. But what is it that makes a great manager? Is it that they know how to lead by example? That they are highly knowledgeable about their industry? That they excel at their job role or functional specialism? No it is much simpler and yet paradoxically more complex than that!

“My premise and one that underpins all of the management and leadership development programmes delivered by Exponential is that what differentiates the ordinary, average manager from exceptional and great managers is the quality and consistency of the decisions that they make. Quite simply, great managers consistently make great decisions.”

John Moore, Exponential Training

Whilst this observation is almost stating the obvious, it provides tremendous insight into how great managers think and behave. Decisions that are routine, simple and have little or no significant consequences can be made quickly and often lend themselves to delegation. Decisions that are complex, non routine with long lasting consequences often do not easily lend themselves to being delegated; they also require plenty of time to fully explore issues and the options before a commitment is made.

John added, “The first step in being a great manager is knowing and understanding what type of decision has to be made. Usually, this means asking great questions because great questions help to generate great answers – this is the second step. The third step is knowing who to ask these great questions of and the next step is knowing who and how to communicate the decisions.”

Jokingly, he added, “Of course there are a few more steps and one or two other skills and techniques that are also needed, but until I get around to writing a book about being a great manager, they will just have to stay something of a secret!”

Great managers are equipped with many great attributes and resources and do some very simple things over and over again. Here is a list of the ten things great managers do:

  1. Great managers have great tools and techniques at their disposal to help them make the right choices; to know what data to collect and how to analytically analyse the information and to make decisions.
  2. Great managers have great communication skills which they use to acquire information; to share their ideas and plans; to enthuse and influence people; and to involve and engage people.
  3. Great managers have great organisational skills which they use to acquire and deploy the required resources; to manage complex and non routine events; to monitor and to evaluate progress and to add value.
  4. Great managers have great team building skills which they use to develop and support great teams; to motivate and inspire their teams and individuals; to enable other people to achieve and to perform.
  5. Great managers have great interpersonal skills which they use to involve, excite and empower others; to make people believe in themselves; and to build trust and respect.
  6. Great manages have great self-motivation and determination which they use to keep going when faced with seemingly impossible questions; to dig deep when looking for the root cause of a problem and to seek out the truth even when others express their doubts.
  7. Great managers have great networks which they use to access knowledge and resources; to involve the right people at the right time; and to help others by sharing their knowledge and experience.
  8. Great managers have great personal development plans which they use to address shortfalls in their knowledge, skills and experience; to add value to themselves by investing in themselves; and to grow as a person first and a manager second.
  9. Great managers have great coaching skills which they use to help people to develop and perform; to help people to develop their own skills and talents; and to add value without ‘hogging the light’.
  10. Great managers have great coaches and mentors which they use to help them to become even greater managers recognising that yesterday’s achievements are no guarantee of tomorrow’s successes.

Being a good manager is about more than just having a title. Being a great manager is about consistently making great choices.

What great choices are you going to make today?

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