Five Traits Every Good Manager Should Have

Kritee Gower

Life is a balancing act, isn’t it?  Finding harmony in both work and life can be difficult – especially in a career that prides itself on good pay and lots of advancement opportunities for those who thrive in fast-paced and energetic environments. But every now and again, I have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses.

The most successful managers I’ve had the pleasure of working with always found their benchmarks in balancing work and family. That’s not to say that they’ve always got every aspect of their life together, but they’re open about their challenges and acknowledge that the idea of perfection is a fallacy.

In fact, they lean into their blind spots and overlooked skills, and they’ll find opportunities to develop them. And they’ll do the same for their direct reports. In my experience, the best leaders share a common thread – they’re all good human beings, and they all share the following characteristics:

  • Strategic
    It’s easy to get caught up in a busy workday, and it’s even easier to slip into a mindset where you allow work to stretch past the standard hours of the workday. Successful managers make the most out of their day and they’re clever about time and diary management. They’ll set time aside to pursue activities outside of work, and they’ll urge you to do the same. Schedule time for friends and family – put it in your diary – and stick to it. You’d be surprised at how disciplined you can be during the day when you have a dinner in the evening to look forward to.

  • Confident
    There’s no doubt that people drift through life with fears, hesitations and periods of anxiety about their career. Those who succeed take the time to question themselves, ask others for advice to understand key challenges, and find the right resources to help them gear up. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you, but the composition of what’s around you. And great managers are the ones who can help you see that and direct self-doubt into a place of productivity.
  • Positive
    Good managers empower their peers and their teammates – no matter the circumstance. In fact, even amidst the chaos they can make good decisions and act with grace under pressure. They know the importance of surrounding themselves with positive people to tap into different talents and bring out the best in others.

  • Inclusive
    Good managers recognise the value of diversity – gender, sexual, ethnic – and that there is strength in integrating people’s different nuances, values, working and social styles. When you assemble a group who have come from all walks of life, your team brings a richness and variety to how you approach your work life and personal life.
  • Ambitious
    Managers you want to work for are the ones who are able to prioritise work, set clear goals, embolden their team to deliver, celebrate the wins and turn the losses into learning opportunities. When a manager loves a challenge and the work – that drive and ambition is energising and infectious.

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