Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
LEADERSHIP / SEP. 11, 2013
version 4, draft 4

Top 10 Underestimated Characteristics That Make a Great Manager

We know the obvious (and expected) traits of a great manager: good listening skills, time management, effective organisational skills, and the ability to resolve conflicts between staff (to name only a few). But do these traits really make for a “great” manager? A manager that stands out from the rest? In my opinion, the answer is no. Having these traits of course qualifies you as a perfectly capable manager, but the characteristics below are what truly define a 'the great' from the rest.

#1 Creativity

Creativity is at the core of any good team and as a manger, it is important that you have creative instincts to help keep a competitive edge, inspire your team, and evolve with changing market demand.

#2 Natural intuition

Probably one of the most important traits and one that can’t be learned or bought is that of natural intuition. Without this, you will find it hard to predict and avoid damaging situations, or foresee profitable opportunities. You will also find it hard to judge which employees have what it takes to handle projects and progress at work.

#3 Integrity and trustworthiness

To be considered a great manager your employees need to respect you, and in order for you to gain their respect you need to show integrity and trustworthiness. If you don’t show loyalty and honesty, then why should your staff?

#4 Leader and mentor

It is important to have natural leadership skills; by this I mean that you should be able to lead your team to achieve the required results without causing stress, upset or panic. Maybe most importantly though, you need to be a mentor. If you cannot teach your employees anything new, then what are you there for?

#5 Ability to see the bigger picture

Many good managers  achieve their targets, but fail to see the “bigger picture”. Because of this shortfall, their vision is obscured by the end result of a task and not by how it could become better or bigger than originally envisaged.  

#6 Self-motivation

Many successful managers are more than capable of getting the job done and ensuring their staff complete theirs too, but not many have the desire to push themselves to their limits and excite the company with a constant drive to succeed and be the best. Motivation is key to being committed as a manager.

#7 Dependability

Your employees need to know that they can depend on you. This doesn’t just mean turning up to work every day in case someone needs assistance; it means supporting your staff and being there for them in times of need.

#8 “Personable” personality

Having a personable personality means that you are a likable person who acts, well, human! Many managers feel that they cannot show emotion and for some, acting superior to their employees helps them to feel authoritative (even though it alienates their staff). By acting human and by showing that you too make mistakes, you can engage your staff on a more approachable level. 

#9 Willingness to learn and adapt to change

Any “great” manager will tell you that learning new things is essential to progression and being the best manager you can be. Just because you are in charge of the staff, does not mean to say that you cannot learn new things from them. From new software to understanding new trends, you can learn a lot from those around you.

#10 Understanding

There is nothing worse than having a manager who is successful and admired by the board of directors, but who is not in the least bit understanding or considerate towards his staff. Yes, the manager may get results and increase profits, but the employees are the ones who suffer, and ultimately leave the company. A great manager is understanding and provides support to his staff when needed. From work issues to personal problems, as a manager, you need to be understanding so that your employees feel confident in approaching you.

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