Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Are you a good manager? Do your team members respect you? Do they handle assignments because they want to or have to out of fear? Take the quiz below. See how you rank.
There are a lot of good managers out there. But there are also a lot of bad ones. The goal of a good manager should be to achieve stellar results through inspiring, leading, and developing your team. Developing skills to become a good manager is not easy.
Being an effective manager is difficult. There are seven skills that I believe are essential for any person who manages people. They are as follows:
- Clear Communication
As a manager, you need to have clear and effective communication. Make sure your employees understand what you are asking.
- Being Assertive
Communicating assertively often starts with mastering the previous skill, but it goes way beyond this. Good managers are persistent, bold and confident in their communication skills.
- Creating a Connection
A good manager creates a connection with their employees. Business may be about results, but it is still an exchange between individuals and it has a very human component.
“A large part of being a leader is empathy, the ability to identify with another’s emotions, to understand what they’re going through and how they are feeling.”
A good manager displays integrity. A manager with a lot of integrity is the one who says what they think and does what they say they’ll do.
Motivating people is considered the most important task a manager can do. People have to be motivated if they are to achieve anything on their own and for the good of the organization.
- Decision Making
A good manager needs to think rationally, analyze variables effectively and strategize with skill. Making good decisions requires either intuition or reasoning. So it’s using your “gut feeling” or facts and figures.
A manager’s role is like putting together a puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle are the people, tasks, goals and data. Assembling them means creating strategies, distributing tasks, supervising their execution and providing feedback.
Do you want to see if you are a good manager? Take the following quiz from Nick McCormick’s book, Lead Well and Prosper: 15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager. Answer either Yes or NO and tally up the score below.
- In the past month have you done anything to make a team member’s job easier?
- Do you share information from all management meetings with your team members?
- Have you shared with your team members what you’ve done this past month via a newsletter or team meeting?
- In the past month have you asked a team member to help you solve a problem?
- Do you have regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with your team members? (Water cooler conversations don’t count.)
- In the past week have you given positive feedback to a team member?
- In the past month have you given constructive criticism to a team member?
- Do your team members have development plans that are used?
- Has it been less than a month since you talked with a team member about his or her development plan?
- Have you presented a learning topic to your team in the last quarter?
- Have you ever been involved in a meeting with team members where you just listened, without giving advice?
- Do you ignore all interruptions during meetings (i.e., no answering phones, no reading email, etc.)?
- Do you keep your phone on vibrate at all times?
- Have you read a management book in the last six months?
- In the past six months have you acted on a suggestion you picked up through reading a book or taking a class, seminar, or webinar?
- Do you have a development plan that you actually use?
- In the past few weeks have you performed an uncomfortable task (one that was not urgent and not forced upon you)?
- Have you fired someone for performance problems in the last five years?
- In the past year have you reworked and resubmitted a recommendation that was previously shot down?
- The last time you hired a team member from a list of internal candidates, did you follow up with those who did not get the position?
- Do you respond within twenty-four hours to all those who have called you?
- Does your group have working plans to achieve a list of goals that are tied to corporate goals?
- Do you require the same rigor in tracking your own projects that you require from your team members?
- Do you strictly enforce due dates on internal projects?
- Do you prioritize your work activities and plan out every week?
- Do you set aside time at least every other week for your own self-study?
- Do you set aside time to plan for meetings?
- Do you review accomplishments from your previous week, reflecting on what was and was not completed?
- In the past year have you implemented a creative solution to improve or solve a perceived problem with another group?
- If you can’t complete a task by a due date, do you inform the requester/stakeholder prior to the due date to allow for corrective action to be taken?
- In the past six months have you turned down a task from your manager?
Count all your YES answers. If your score is:
25 to 31 – You’re not just good. You’re fantastic. Just keep doing what you are doing.
20 to 24 – Congratulations, you’re a good manager. Continue to work on improving.
10 to 19 – You are doing some good things but could certainly use some significant improvement. Acting on the strategies in Lead Well and Prosper will benefit you considerably.
9 or less – You have your work cut out for you. Please take some action to improve as soon as possible, or you may want to seriously reevaluate your choice of career paths.