Qualities of Great Leaders and Great Managers
In our article, What’s the Difference Between Leadership and Management? we outlined the differences between a leader and a manager. To briefly summarize, people follow managers because they must. People follow leaders by choice—and, it’s ideal for one person to have both qualities. In this article, we’ll discuss the qualities of great leaders and great managers.
Qualities of a Great Manager
#1. Expect excellence
It is important for a manager to set high yet realistic standards, and expect employees to meet them. Ultimately, the best managers are not those who are the nicest or the toughest, but those who get things done and demonstrate tangible results. Once employees understand that a manager expects excellence—not only their own, but that of others—they will likely begin to up their game and perform better.
#2. Communicate regularly by providing meaningful feedback in real time
At first, communicating effectively may sound a bit trite, but it is fundamental to sound management. The best and strongest managers are those who are excellent communicators. The ability to provide both positive and negative feedback is a core skill and competency for managers.
#3. Don’t avoid conflict, but deal with it directly and fairly
Every professional knows that the workplace is a breeding ground for conflict. Issues like compensation, interpersonal problems, cost-cutting, recognition, management-employee relations, layoffs, and many other points of conflict are bound to arise. There is never a shortage of molehills to create mountains out of.
Though it is tempting to turn a deaf ear, the best managers do not avoid conflict and instead address any issues that arise fairly. Employees observe takes responsibility and who doesn’t.
They are likely to show more respect to those managers who resolve issues immediately than those who ignore the problem or don’t act quickly.
#4. Be open to new ways of looking at things
Adaptability, flexibility, and being attuned to their environment are some of the qualities of a good manager. They always look for new opportunities by listening to what others have to say. It is important to be a good listener, no matter your role. That said, it’s quite common for, the best process improvement ideas come from employees who are relatively low in the organizational hierarchy. A good manager is never afraid to shift from the usual “This is the way we’ve always done it here.”
#5. Accept that you still have a lot to learn
Once they have attained a management position, managers sometimes forget that they are in the process of learning, too. You may have expertise in their field with years of experience, but keeping your mind open to new ideas is important. Professional advancement is fueled by a constant learning process—and once a manager accepts this and sets continuous improvement as a standard, they become a better manager than before.
#6. Set a good example
If a manager has an insular mentality, they may struggle to understand subordinates and face difficulty in making them abide by the rules. The same professionalism, commitment, and dedication that the manager demands from his juniors need to be upheld by him, as well.
#7. Be decisive
It is important for a manager to make decisions and stick to them. Employees are generally not comfortable with someone who constantly changes their mind on issues. A confident manager is one who does not fear being wrong. The best managers use bad situations as learning curves and as examples of what not to do. Employees are generally repelled by those employers who are in denial of the repercussions of the decisions that have been made by them.
#8. Be patient with yourself
Being able to develop strong skills leading and managing takes time. Keep in mind all of the above tips. Talk to more people who have been in the role, and learn from them. This will improve your skills as a manager.
Tips To Be A Good Leader
#1. Be humble
There is a huge difference between being a leader and being a boss. A leader is someone who usually shares the spotlight and credits followers for the work that they have done as a team. It takes more confidence to be humble than in basking in the glory of accomplishment. Clients and employees appreciate humility, and leaders who give credit where credit’s due!
#2. Lead by example
It is important for leaders to lead by example. They cannot be hypocrites. If a leader wants subordinates to be punctual, they themselves will need to establish the habit of being punctual. Leaders need to set the tone and the followers will be inspired to follow, automatically.
#3. Communicate effectively
As with managers, leaders need to be able to effectively communicate as well—both on and off the job. Along with being heard and understood, great leaders also know the importance of listening. Leaders understand that communication is a two-way street.
#4. Know your limits
It is important for leaders to set limits for themselves. Leaders need to know what and how much they can tolerate, saving the entire office bucket loads of frustration. Keeping clear boundaries helps prevent any sort of confusion.
#5. Keep meetings productive
Time is money! Avoid tangential discussions and other sources of unproductivity during meetings. Leaders need to trust their team to do their job right—with no need for micromanagement.
#6. Be emotionally aware
It’s a common piece of advice to keep all kinds of emotions out of the office. However, it is forgotten that business is more about the relationships between people. And to build and nurture lasting relationships a good leader has to be emotionally intelligent.
#7. Never stop improving
Great leaders are constantly learning and updating their knowledge. They never stop. They continually work to improve themselves and be better. There is always a new skill to master or a new project to work on. Great leaders keep their mind open for new possibilities and fresh ideas.
Differences Between Leadership and Management
Managers and leaders are both important—and you can hit a professional jackpot by being great at both. You’ll learn management and leadership techniques in Simplilearn’s Project Management Certification Training.
About the On-Demand Webinar
About the Webinar