While there are certainly many different types of managing styles and several different possibile characteristics managers and leaders can possess, there seems to be a resounding 10 qualities that are prominent in the best of managers. Think of the greatest leader you’ve ever had, and chances are he or she embodies most if not all of these excellent manager essentials!
Jan Gordon outlines these top ten qualities in the ProjectSmart article below.
Creativity is what separates competence from excellence. Creativity is the spark that propels projects forward and that captures peoples’ attention. Creativity is the ingredient that pulls the different pieces together into a cohesive whole, adding zest and appeal in the process.
The context and structure we work within always have a set of parameters, limitations and guidelines. A stellar manager knows how to work within the structure and not let the structure impinge upon the process or the project. Know the structure intimately, so as to guide others to effectively work within the given parameters. Do this to expand beyond the boundaries.
Intuition is the capacity of knowing without the use of rational processes; it’s the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. People with keen insight are often able to sense what others are feeling and thinking; consequently, they’re able to respond perfectly to another through their deeper understanding. The stronger one’s intuition, the stronger manager one will be.
A thorough knowledge base is essential. The knowledge base must be so ingrained and integrated into their being that they become transparent, focusing on the employee and what s/he needs to learn, versus focusing on the knowledge base. The excellent manager lives from a knowledge base, without having to draw attention to it.
A manager is committed to the success of the project and of all team members. S/he holds the vision for the collective team and moves the team closer to the end result. It’s the manager’s commitment that pulls the team forward during trying times.
6. Being Human
Employees value leaders who are human and who don’t hide behind their authority. The best leaders are those who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Managers who respect and connect with others on a human level inspire great loyalty.
Flexibility and versatility are valuable qualities in a manager. Beneath the flexibility and versatility is an ability to be both non-reactive and not attached to how things have to be. Versatility implies an openness – this openness allows the leader to quickly change on a dime when necessary. Flexibility and versatility are the pathways to speedy responsiveness.
A stellar manager doesn’t just produce outstanding results; s/he has fun in the process! Lightness doesn’t impede results but rather, helps to move the team forward. Lightness complements the seriousness of the task at hand as well as the resolve of the team, therefore contributing to strong team results and retention.
Discipline is the ability to choose and live from what one pays attention to. Discipline as self-mastery can be exhilarating! Role model the ability to live from your intention consistently and you’ll role model an important leadership quality.
10. Big Picture, Small Actions
Excellent managers see the big picture concurrent with managing the details. Small actions lead to the big picture; the excellent manager is skillful at doing both: think big while also paying attention to the details.