The Secret Ingredient to Being a Great Manager
There are many managers out there, but how many of them could actually be classified as great? The job is more than just directing and overseeing. Some managers can become too involved and end up micromanaging their staff, while others become detached and seemingly indifferent to whatever’s going on. So what’s the right balance that makes a truly exceptional manager?
Taking the passive “I’m not going to check in with you until after the deadline” approach is not the way to get results. The “I want a full update every half-hour” isn’t an effective method either. As a manager you have to be there for your team, but you also have to have trust in their abilities and give them autonomy to get their jobs done. For some people, giving up total control can induce a bit of anxiety, especially when you are still held responsible for the final outcome and getting results.
So how can you deal with all of those considerations hanging over your head? The ultimate secret of being a great manager is accountability.
As a manager you should be accountable for:
- Clearly expressing expectations and objectives to your team, while quickly conveying changes or adjustments as necessary.
- Giving employees oversight suitable to their role and abilities.
- Ensuring that every team member is doing their job properly, completely, and on time.
- Addressing both the organization's expectations of the employee and the employee's expectation of the organization.
- Guaranteeing that all goals are being met or even surpassed.
- Conveying crucial information up the ladder.
- Giving constructive feedback on a regular basis with specific direction.
- Keeping the team on track and working as a unit.
- Taking full responsibility when any unexpected issues arise along the way.
- Standing by decisions, actions, and overall well-being of projects.
That might seem overwhelming and to some it probably is, but when you’re actually handling all those items properly, it becomes much more manageable. It boils down to keeping your staff accountable for their work and actions, as well as holding yourself accountable for the results those above you are counting on.
However, not only should your superiors hold you accountable - your own team needs to do the same. You need to be reliable - follow up, check in, review, etc... when you promised you would. Being a part of the process will help you stay involved and have the ability to nip any potential disasters in the bud. You also need to be decisive. Your team is looking for direction. By hemming and hawing instead of giving clear guidance, your staff will begin to lose trust and no longer see you as a veritable source of leadership.
Holding a leadership position and being effective has many necessary traits - such as excellent communication skills, confidence, and honesty among others. Being a great manager is not an easy job and doesn’t suit everyone’s personality, but the final secret to success is holding oneself and others accountable.