What Makes a Successful Manager?

By Monday, November 17, 2014 0 , Permalink

Managers are integral to any organisation. They are responsible for motivating staff and ensuring results are achieved. I’m certain that everyone can think of an example of a bad, average and excellent boss they have had. It would be ideal if we could borrow a few qualities from all the managers we have worked for and put these together to make one “Supermanager”. But what elements would these be? What makes a successful manager?




Managers are required to have sound leadership skills. They must be acutely aware of what the team’s goals are and what needs to be done to achieve them. In practice, this will involve regular team meetings where goals are set, and tasks are delegated. Each team member should know exactly what they need to do and must understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture. In order to be an effective leader, the manager must have excellent communication skills. They must be clear and confident when presenting. This will ensure that staff understand and respect their boss.


When something unexpected happens, a good manager will be there to guide their staff. They should not leave their employees to deal with fundamental problems alone. In order to deal with unexpected issues, the manager should use creativity and intuition to come up with an effective solution.


A good manager will be an inspiration to their team. When working hard, a good boss will know how to inject some enthusiasm into the team. If the manager is positive, then the team is more likely to feel the same. It is important that managers provide incentives for employees and reward successful work.




To guide staff in an effective way, a manager must know what he or she is talking about. Managers should strive to know everything they can about the organisation they work for. They must be able to answer any questions that are put to them by their staff. If they can’t answer the question themselves, they must be able to refer it on to the appropriate person. If managers are constantly answering questions with “I don’t know”, the staff will interpret this as “I don’t care” and will lose faith and respect in their manager.


They should also have a good grasp on what each team member does on a day-to-day basis. This is important so that the manager can delegate tasks in an effective way. If each staff member is confident that their boss understands what they do; the result is mutual respect.


Patience and understanding


Managers are in charge of a team of people who will all have different ways of working. Amongst the team, there will be people who work slowly, but effectively and people who work quickly but make a lot of errors. A good manager will understand that everyone works in a different way, and it is their job to be patient with members of staff while trying to bring out the best in them. Managers should spend time with each team member in order to understand how they function. They should acknowledge the good work that their staff is doing while providing ongoing support, advice and suggestions for improvement.


Managers must understand that employees may have things going on in their personal lives that could affect their ability to work to the best of their ability. If a manager is aware that there is something not quite right with one of their team, he or she should not ignore this. They should let the employee know that they are there if they need to talk. If a staff member comes to their manager to discuss personal issues, the manager should be sympathetic and respond in a fair manner. Depending on the circumstances, this may lead to some time off for an employee or an extension on a certain piece of work. A careful balance must be struck here between the employee’s welfare and the goals that need to be met by the team.


Honesty and openness


Employees will respect a manager who is as honest and open as they can be. If the manager knows something is on the horizon that may be detrimental to the team, they should not be afraid to share this with their staff. If it is bad news, the team will appreciate the fact that their manager was honest about it and gave them a chance to have an open discussion. In a world where technology is rife, managers often choose to break difficult news to their employees via email. Although an email can be appropriate, it is always best that managers follow up with a team meeting, or individual meetings, to give the employees a chance to ask questions.


Sense of humour


Staff members are more likely to feel at ease around their boss if he or she has a sense of humour. When the team has to work overtime or weekends, a light-hearted attitude may make this easier to cope with. A good manager will understand that the workplace doesn’t always have to be serious, and a little, appropriate, humour works wonders to boost morale. There is a time and a place for humour, however, and a good manager should understand when it is the right time to lighten the mood.


Comply with the law


Managers must be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to them and must be in full compliance with them. Managers must be aware of the Equality Act and how it protects employees from being treated unfairly in the workplace. They should also be aware of the laws governing health and safety, recruitment, hiring and dismissing of staff. Managers who are also the business owner, must be aware of additional legislation. The Corporations Act, for example, sets out the procedure to follow if an employer becomes aware that an employee is involved in fraudulent activities.




Good managers will take part in regular training in order to develop and improve their skills. If you are a manager looking for appropriate training, there are a number of London based management courses available. Training courses for managers focus on time management, leadership, communication, effective delegation and motivation.


If you are a manager and possess all these skills then, congratulations, you are a Supermanager!


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