A few spots further down in this forum, rbrace asks the question "What is the purpose of a manger?"  That post fueled a thought I had already been wrestling with.  I would love to hear some other thoughts on this.

What are the attributes of a good manager?

Here are a few of my thoughts...

  • As I see it, regardless of industry, a manager's job is to get the highest amount of results from employees in the most efficient way possible.
  • Gain these high results by setting high expectations, but at the same time finding the right balance between high performance and not stressing-out your directs.  They need to enjoy their job in order to perform well.
  • Holding people accountable.  Once you fail to show that you will hold people accountable, you are opening the door a lot of problems with your directs.  This can be different from one employee to the next.  Simply asking a few questions of one direct will effectively work in holding them accountable, where systemic feedback may be required with another.

These are just a few of my initial thoughts.  Agree, disagree?  What am I missing?


ashdenver's picture

I would add:

  • Have fun & don't take everything so darn seriously.  Sure, the work stuff should be taken seriously but every once in a while, pass along one of those mass-emails with really corny jokes or a picture from - something to show your human side once in a while.
  • Show compassion and empathy.  I'm not saying "get all wrapped up in their lives" or play counselor to your DRs but at least show some interest in their non-work lives.  "Did you have a good birthday?"  "Got anything fun or interesting planned for the weekend?" "How is your son coping with the death of his father at the hands of his stepmother?"  (I've actually asked all of these things.)
  • Give your DR's the benefit of the doubt in third-party situations.  If someone from another department tells you that your DR did something wrong, bad, whatever, get the DR's side of things before coming down on one side or another.  Don't take third-party gossip or accusations as the Bible's truth.
  • Advocate/defend & keep your mouth shut.  Advocate on behalf of your DR's for projects, teams, etc.  (Obviously only if they deserve it and have demonstrated the ability to live up to the expectations but sometimes DR's need someone "on their side" to help push them over the finish line in a horse race.)  Keep your mouth shut unless it's positive stuff.  Don't share with your peers the stupid/goofy thing your DR did because you don't know where that gossip will lead or what impact it may have on your DR in the future. 
Davis Staedtler's picture

Right on Ashdenver. Very cool thoughts!

• Manage yourself (Time, family, friends, finances) & develop yourself first. Charity begins at home.

• The 3 Second Rule. Count 3 seconds to yourself before you speak in response to someone.

• Something Mark told me, and Ashdenver touched on, don't say anything bad about anyone you work with ever. (And it's tough. I already broke this guideline this afternoon...ouch)

• Find a copy of and read Horstman's Laws. It will save you from having to come up with more things ;-)

Keep leading,

Davis Staedtler

Mark's picture
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Results and Relationships.

On a bed of integrity and love.