After spending some time observing each of the successful managers I met, and reading case studies, I wanted to try and capture those common traits that made their management style a success. I was trying as much as possible to absorb those qualities to hopefully one day become a successful manager. And here they are:
- Have Passion for what you do. Really? What else could keep a person motivated at all times and lead a team of motivated individuals? Passion is seen in someone's tone, eye contact, and persistence.
- Acknowledge the possibility of failure. BUT...of course there is a but, you can't just expect to fail without having a plan B. Most managers I worked with seemed to know they can fail but always had a plan B, C, and even D. They rarely share them.
- Keep calm. You might be just like me and can't contain your over-excitement or disappointment. But great managers control perfectly their positive and negative emotions. Being calm not only helps make rational decisions but it also helps keep your team calm.
- Motivate your team to solve a problem before asking for help. I had a manager who had a sign on his door saying "Do not come to me with a problem without a solution" It definitely made me think twice before knocking on his door and ask for his help.
- Do not over promise but show optimism. This is probably the hardest thing to do. Successful managers know how to communicate their confidence on the ability to complete a project or reach a goal without promising overly optimistic results.
- Be consistent in the message(s) you communicate and communicate it often. Nothing is more harmful to a team than a manager changing goals and showing inconsistency in communication. You want your team to move in one direction towards the one goal or set of goals. Communicate that goal clearly and frequently. You are repeating yourself for a good reason.
- Delegate. One of the types of personalities in the workplace are leaders and executors. When a manager's personality falls within a mix of the two types, it becomes hard to delegate. But to be a successful manager you need to learn how to delegate, not only tasks but also the decision-making power.
- Get to know your team on a personal level. You cannot be surrounded by loyal team members, if you do not show that you care about them as individuals with lives outside of their cubicles.
- High level of integrity. Managers have to lead by example and if you want your team to work with great ethics, you need to have that trait yourself.
- Mentor, don't just manage. Do I need to expand on this one?
There are more traits unique to each manager, but these are the ones I found common among most if not all successful managers I know.