“Secrets of Successful Managers”
Successful managers are not perfect but they do get more done, get more out of their team and have better retention rates than their unsuccessful peers. Because we are complex human beings, management success seldom boils down to a succinct list of traits so while not comprehensive, here are eight at the top that can definitely advance your success.
- Are comfortable in their own skin
This is the one secret that we often see in successful managers that is seldom discussed. Successful managers just seem to exude a confidence that inspires others. It is not necessarily a confidence inspired by a “know it all” attitude, but rather the sense that they either hold the answers or have access to the resources that will contribute to their success. Others tend to describe them as “authentic”. They demonstrate their humanness in the execution of their work.
- Empower others to be their best self
Successful managers empower others to succeed. Your team is better than they know. In fact, you’re team is better than anyone knows. As human beings, we have greater potential than we can quantify! So how do you know if you are empowering your team to be their best selves? Ask yourself a few tough questions. Do you believe your team is better than they know? Does your team know how good you think they are and how much better they can be? Can your team make intelligent, thoughtful decisions without you being there because you have taught them how to evaluate information and make the best decisions with the information available?
- Set the example
Your team follows your lead from beginning to end. If you come in late, don’t be surprised to see them coming in late as well. If you sneak out early when the boss is gone, what do you think your team will do when you are out of the office? From respecting the dress code to being respectful with a customer complaint, your team follows your lead. Be conscious that you are the example in all that you say and do because someone is always watching (and taking notes).
- Set stretch goals for themselves and their teams
What is the difference between a goal and a stretch goal? A goal is something we can reasonably be assured that we will accomplish based on history or easiness of the goal. A s-t-r-e-t-c-h goal is also “do-able” but tends to be outside of one’s reach unless you assign considerable focus and diligence to accomplishing it. We cannot grow if goals are easy. We never push ourselves to find out what we can really accomplish and chances are that a stretch goal unachieved will still take you further than a simple goal achieved. Make sure you share your stretch goals with those around you and then work with your team to help them set stretch goals as well!
- Don’t worry about who gets credit
Don’t worry about who gets credit for things. Share as much credit as you can with your team because if they do great things, you’ll look good anyway no matter who came up with the idea. The more your team realizes that you want them to get credit for success, the more they will respect you and also want you to have credit for being a great manager! If you try to snag credit for every little thing the team does, you’ll just end up looking like a glory hound and your team will stop working so hard to do the extra things that would otherwise move them forward.
- Admit when they’re wrong
As human beings, we are imperfect beings. Period. You are going to make mistakes (especially if you’re taking risks). It’s just part of being a manager and being human. When you do make the inevitable mistake, admit it. There are many lesson to be learned by our team when we have the capacity and humility to admit our errors, grow from them and move on.
- Ask for help when they need it
You don’t know everything. You can’t know everything. So be willing to ask for help when you need it. Ask your peers, your manager and your team. In showing your team that it’s good to ask for help, they’ll ask for help too.
- Say thanks often and authentically
Saying thank you is often the simplest and yet most forgotten form of appreciation we can give to others. Authentic gratitude for a job well done goes a LONG way in getting the best out of your team and building relationships of mutual respect. The key is to ensure that your appreciation is authentic. False gratitude feels manipulative so if you don’t really mean it, then don’t say it.
You were born to be great.