It’s been six months since I started working at Santa Clara University and almost nine years since I began my writing career. I’ve had five managers in a full-time capacity and three editors I’ve reported to as a freelancer and each of them has had a distinct personality, unique quirks, and interesting leadership styles. Recently, I hired an intern and have been pondering since what makes a good manager? Is it someone who is a visionary? Or someone who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches with you? Or is it someone who oversees from a distance, but trusts you enough not to micromanage? Or, perhaps, someone who isn’t afraid to lead the charge when you need support? I have determined that it isn’t one or the other … it’s a host of good qualities that make a good manager.
Here are some attributes I have observed in my managers that I hope to emulate as I supervise my intern.
A good manager is one who:
- Knows their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Knows their team’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Leverages their team’s (and individual workers’) strengths to produce outstanding results.
- Looks for development opportunities to keep the team growing.
- Shields the team from the politics in the upper echelons of management so that the worker bees can continue to do their best.
- Is honest in their communication with the team.
- Is realistically ambitious about team goals.
- Takes responsibility for deliverables.
- Keeps short-term projects on target while keeping the bigger picture goals in sight.
- Invites new ideas and encourages intellectual exchanges (i.e., is not a smart ass).
- Recognizes and rewards good work. In other words, gives credit where it is due.
- Is a good listener … and is able to read between the lines.
- Has good time management skills.
- Conducts meetings that are short, yet productive.
- Has good people skills.
- Sets the bar high.
Have you had any good managers along the road?
Do you consider yourself a good manager?
I invite you to share your thoughts…