What makes a good manager?

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…



Filed under jobs, Personal

3 responses to “What makes a good manager?

  1. These are relevant qualities a manager possesses, good leadership. As a blogger I tend to digest this post by picturing that we’re all managers to our own services and tasks. Do I consider myself a good manager? I’ll say still have rooms for improvements. 🙂

    Social/Blogging Tracker

  2. Hey Mansi,

    Thanx for visiting my blog. As I can see here’s a lot of quality expected out of a manager…or rather a good manager…and I feel that most of them are absent in one such person I know and he’s trying to make a hell of my life. So it was just a reverberating post to cool things off. 🙂

    But on the positive note, I am still up and running…so keep visiting….

  3. that so sounds like me… lolz…probably I shud ask my team members to read this and comment…
    on a serious note… i have had good managers with few of these qualities but not all… (tough to be perfect like me :D)

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