4 lessons - Unpacking the qualities of an exceptional leader

Kuresha Subramony
HR Consultant
May 27, 2024
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In any organisation, the quality of management can make or break the experience for employees.

A good manager is someone who does not just supervise employees, they embody leadership, mentoring and inspiration for their staff. Ideally, someone who can provide guidance and inspiration for their juniors.

They serve as a link between organisational goals and employee aspirations, driving productivity and creating a positive work culture.

However, if someone in this position has poor management skills, this can lead to stress among individuals, frustration in the organisation, and, eventually, burnout.

Good managers pass on their knowledge, and uplift their staff (Photo: Pixabay)

1.    The big question is, what makes a good manager?

Being human-centric

This means putting people first and understanding their needs, concerns, and aspirations.

Trust and mutual respect

They create an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Essentially, they will have some level of self-awareness of their own emotions and the emotions of others, and they use this to motivate their team.

Excellent communication skills

These play a vital role in becoming a good manager. Ofcourse, this advice extends well beyond the workplace.

You need to actively listen to your team, communicate effectively and empathise with them.

In the current workforce, employees often seek a reward system to motivate them. Although you should possess the technical skills for the job, you also have the emotional intelligence to help them succeed in their role.

What is the impact of having a good manager?

2.    Fostering a Culture of Trust and Support

A good manager establishes an environment where employees feel empowered to voice their opinions, share concerns, and take calculated risks without fear of reprisal. By demonstrating transparency, active listening, and genuine concern for their team members' well-being, managers lay the groundwork for a culture of trust and collaboration.

Being assigned to a good boss increases personal productivity relative to being assigned to a bad boss and the effects are large.

3.    Nurturing Professional Growth and Development

Investing in employee development is not just a strategic imperative; it is a testament to a manager's commitment to their team's long-term success.

You learn to recognise the potential within each individual and actively support their professional growth.

By providing opportunities for career advancement and meaningful challenges, managers elevate their team's capabilities and in still a sense of loyalty and dedication.

A growth mindset will do wonders for any manager (Photo: Alena Koval)

4.     Leading by Example

Good managers embody the values, work ethic, and integrity they wish to in still in their employees.

Don’t do as I say, Do as I do.

Managers set the tone for organizational culture and behaviour.

When employees see their managers living the values they espouse, they are inspired to emulate those behaviours and contribute to a positive, high-performing work environment.

You must lead by example, setting high standards and expectations for your staff while providing them with the resources to achieve them.

Providing constructive feedback on work performance will encourage growth and development.

Remember that your role as a manager is not just to manage tasks but also to lead people to success.

Having a good manager is a blessing that should not be taken for granted. It can make a huge difference in the quality of your work experience and your overall well-being.

Acknowledge and celebrate your staff's successes, no matter how small, and help them learn from their failures.