To be outstanding, managers need a framework that will successfully influence others opinion, and a successful manager will ensure that they follow this framework repeatedly. Below Margo Manning, a leadership coach and author of The Step Up Mindset for New Managers, lists for CEO Today five key traits that any successful manager will portray on a regular basis:
- Think of the overall goal(s)
Anyone can think about the present and what they want in the immediate future, however a key skill of a successful manager is being about to think about the longer term outcomes and goals of the business, allowing them to plan tasks and actions in order for the team to achieve these aims. As this understanding becomes clearer for the manager, they can efficiently set both individual and departmental tasks in order to motivate staff whilst sticking to the overall strategy.
- Be results driven
Managers are likely to have to stick to very strict goals, aims and results, more so than other team members below them. A successful manager will demonstrate a clear motivation for achieving results on time and to the best of their ability with seamless execution. The best managers will be able to provide a sense of direction for those around them and will be able to stand up and become accountable when things don’t go to plan.
- Communicate well
Possibly the most fundamental trait of a successful manager is the ability to communicate well. Whether this is with their manager, their team members or external stake holders, the inability to communicate well can quickly be a failing point. Managers should be able to identify the audience in front of them and tailor their communication style accordingly through a variety of means, including written, verbal, presentations, in groups and one-to-ones.
One part of a manager’s role is to deliver constructive and informative feedback without appearing too direct or insensitive. The recipient needs to walk away feeling engaged and motivated to make changes in the way they work, rather than feeling disheartened by their efforts.
- Create a learning environment
In order for the business to stay up with or even ahead of the game, managers need to be aware of the changing needs of their industry. They need to drive the workforce in a direction which will meet the ever-changing industry needs whilst creating accountability and ownership of their actions.
As part of this, the best managers help direct team members in the direction they want to move. This may even include preparing them for their next move, whether internal or external as they realise they will receive a return on their investment.
- High levels of self-awareness
Successful managers are likely to be always thinking how they can develop and grow to be better. They may actively seek feedback on how they can improve. Top managers will not dominate the spotlight when other people have achieved higher and hold a win: win mind-set.
These five traits all contribute greatly to the nature of a successful manager, however it’s important to establish that everyone is different and these approaches may not fit everyone. It is clear which traits aid a person’s success and which traits will establish their failure within a company, and each manager should actively work on developing the positive traits in order to reach the top.