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Friday, October 15, 2021

Lean Quote: The Characteristics of a Good Manager

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Over the years I've learned that, to be a good manager, you need to have passion, and you need to have a strong character. Without those things, the job is very, very difficult.  —  Claudio Ranieri

Having successful managerial skills is a good start, but there’s more to good management. You must keep your tasks on track, support, guide and direct your team, knowing their strengths and keeping them together as a cohesive group, but there are soft skills, too. Here are 10.

  1. Inspiration – A good manager is a good leader. A good leader is going to inspire their team to work hard by making them feel heard and respected.
  2. Believe in Yourself and Your Team – Part of being a good manager is believing that you are, and believing your team will do what they need to do, without micromanaging them. That doesn’t mean being arrogant, and you should hold doubt in your hand, but not let it cripple you.
  3. Encouragement – Sometimes you need it, sometimes your team does, a cheerleader, someone to give them that pep talk so they can pull from where they didn’t believe there was anything left and accomplish what musts be accomplished.
  4. Confident – Again, you don’t want to get cocky, but being confident goes a long way to being a good manager. No body wants a manager who is unsure or fearful. You’re leading from the top down, and you need to set the right tone.
  5. Honest – All the above is based on honesty. If you’re pretending your team will know. Being transparent is going to get you a loyal team that will go the extra-mile for you.
  6. Reliable – You want to depend on your team, and they need you to be dependable for them. If you’re not reliable, then you’re going to lose the focus of your team, probably lose the team too, through attrition.
  7. Relatable – While you are the manager, the leader of the project, you better not act aloof. Get down in the trenches with your team. Know who they are as people, and let them know you. Find that common ground on which to connect.
  8. Follow-up – All these skills and characteristics are great, but if you don’t follow-up on them, then you’re just giving the process lip-service. You team will be able to tell.
  9. Follow-through – This is the flipside to follow-up. If you say you’re going to do something, you do it. If not, you’re eroding trust and eventually your project will unravel.
  10. Decisive – A good manager isn’t wishy-washy. It’s hard to decide, of course, and you want to do the due diligence before you act, but once you do be firm.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and you’ll never, no matter how long you work in management, get to the bottom of it. Why would you want to? The discovery and the constantly learning and betterment of your skill set is that intangible which makes for a good manager.

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