90% of the workforce in current Indian corporate sector belongs to ‘below manager level’. This means, they are not yet a manager and have not handled people directly under them. The balance 10% are the lucky ones who have got the opportunity to have direct reports. Read what all qualities this 10 % of the managers should have.
The reality behind this fact is that it’s not easy for a person to jump up the hierarchy without understanding the right set of qualities one needs to be a manager. In other words, it’s not easy to be a manager. It’s not easy to manage one or more people under you. I have listed down 6 things every great manager should have.
1. Leading from the front in the times of crisis.
A manager is like a mother of a young baby. A mother has to take the initiative to make her young one learn, everything from the basics. It won’t help a mother to abuse or criticise her young one (read team members) and then expect him/her to perform. It’s the responsibility of that mother to teach, guide and show the right path to her young one so that the young one shine brighter while performing. Just like a mother, it’s manager’s responsibility to know things better and beforehand than his/her team. And it’s the manager’s job to guide his/her team on the right path.
The manager had learnt everything when he/she was the junior most. The manager has grind well through the tough times under his/her boss for a long time. Now when the same person has become a manager, it’s his/her duty to lead from the front and show the right way of doing things to his/her team members. So when the crisis comes, its the responsibility of a manager to take care of the team in the times of crisis. It’s the responsibility of a manager to keep the ship intact no matter how big are the waves. They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
At the same time, a wise manager keeps his/her team member upfront during regular work so that the team member learns. And if the team member makes any mistakes, it’s the job of the manager to guide the team member to correct him/her. This is known as exhibiting leadership maturity. Building a team like a family.
2. Be a cushion between his/her reporting manager and people reporting to you.
It’s been observed that at times when HOD’s/Sr. Team members downpour wrath on the junior teams, manager sleeps out and blames individual team member for the wrongdoing. This is the biggest problem with wannabe managers. They do not, simply do not understand the essence of being a manager. They do not understand that they should be a cushion between such senior people and his/her team members.
Many times it happens that you boss turns away from his/her own words. And the team members are clueless in front of the senior person / HOD. One such incident and team member loses their faith in their immediate reporting boss. Each and every manager who have people reporting to them should understand that they are cushions between the senior management team and his/her team members. Such characteristics are seen in almost all Indian companies. Such managers are known as self-centred human beings who care only about themselves and not the team.
3. Be professional as well as be personal.
A good manager knows how to and when to be professional with his/her team and when to be a personal counsellor for each and every team member. But our experience shows that most of the managers know exactly how to be professional at all times and doesn’t know anything about how to be and when to be personal with his/her team members.
It’s simple logic. When working in a team, one has to act and behave like a family. And the manager is the head of that family. The head of the family has to take care of that family during every thick and thin situation. Every manager should often talk and discuss with each team member about his/her personal goals, personal lives, what’s happening at home and whether a person is happy in his/her personal lives or not. This builds a personal connect.
4. Listen More. Observe More. Talk only when your team gets distracted.
Most of the managers are habitual of downloading instructions, rules & regulations and talking about only weekly and monthly performances. In India, managers have low tendencies of listening to their reporting members. This characteristic makes them a poor manager.
A good manager listens more. Observes more. And instantly guides his/her team when distraction is being observed. It’s the job of the manager to provide constructive feedback to his/her team. A manager should never forget that the people reporting to him/her are humans too, just like them. Tomorrow, the same people will take his/her position. It’s the job of a manager to leave the legacy.
5. Putting the right person for the right job
Many times it’s observed that a manager gets confused between myriad of tasks bestowed upon him/her. In such situations, the manager gets baffled what to do, when to do and from whom to get certain jobs done.
It’s the responsibility of an effective manager to know the strengths and weaknesses of each of his/her team member. Such knowledge comes handy when an out of the box task comes at his/her disposal. A candid manager then knows whom to assign the task, when it's critical. A manager then becomes straightforward in assigning the task. This also creates the culture of clear accountability. This knowledge also helps a manager to keep the number of tasks even between his/her team member. Great managers motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
6. An effective manager maintains a cross-team relationship.
Its poor of a manager when he/she does not maintain a healthy relationship with other teams and works in a silo mode. Maintaining seamless relationship with other teams within the company is a very important task in the hands of a manager.
Many times, manager knowingly or unknowingly abhors talking to other team members and stays busy with his/her team all the while. This is bad for the health not only for the team or team members but also for the company.
And remember, your best teachers are your mistakes. Do not get devastated by your mistakes. Contemplate, take time to think deep into your mistakes. It’s okay if you look bad with your own eyes. You should know when to stop and when to run. Who are others to tell you that you are not performing?
Keep performing. Success will kiss your efforts.