If you want to find a great leader or manager, look for these qualities:
- Developers — Great mangers love to develop people. They find joy in taking someone who has ability and honing their skills to become great at something.
- Finds joy in the success of others — This is how real leaders think. When one of their employees succeeds, they are ecstatic. Why? Because they know they have been able to help that person get to where they are. Great managers feel this in their bones, and it comes out with caring, compassion, and guiding energy.
- A wonderful encourager and guide — Employees need someone that will walk with them and encourage them in their journey. I’ve talked to so many employees who tell me over and over that their manager has not once told them “good job” or shown any kind of appreciation. This is so sad. Great leaders know that saying “thanks” and telling someone he is doing a great job helps motivate people to want to do more. Why? Because they feel secure and want more slaps on the back. Who wouldn’t?
- Amazing communicators — World-class leaders talk to their people… a lot. They have regular meetings scheduled, and they keep them. They show their people respect by telling them what senior management and leadership is doing and thinking. They are real with the folks they manage. They are not afraid to deliver tough news. They deliver that news with compassion and understanding. They have an open door. They welcome conversation and critique. They don’t punish people for opinions.
- They “go to bat” for their employees — The best manager I ever had not only encouraged me and thanked me for my good work, but proactively sought out influence and higher compensation for me with senior management, without my ever having to go to him. In fact, I never had to ask for a raise because my manager saw my work, and when it was time for evaluations he had already secured more money for me than I ever even thought of. Later, I asked him why he did that and he said, “Look, you’re doing an outstanding job, and you should be paid well for it; those of us in senior management need people like you at our organization. I’ve got your back.” Wow! I still tear up thinking about that moment. Great managers always have your back.