Like most of us, you have probably had a manager who played a positive role in your career and a manager who made you want to quit your job. So what distinguishes a great manager from the rest? According to Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, authors of “Being the Boss”, the answer lies in 3 imperatives: manage yourself, manage your network, and manage your team.
Management begins with you. You must be trustworthy and have the authority to be able to influence others. Effective managers consider authority as a tool for helping others become more productive. People also need to trust you, i.e. believe that they can count on you to do the right thing. It is important that people believe in your competence as a manager and in your character as a person.
Manage your network
Managing a network means creating relationships with people you depend on but don’t formally control. Are you ready and able to develop the organizational influence to get what your team needs? Organizations by their nature are political environments. To succeed in them, you must proactively create a network of personal contacts inside and outside your organization and then use those contacts to get the information and support you need to achieve your goals. Make sure you don’t forget your boss as he/she plays a pivotal role in your success.
Manage your team
Great managers build and lead an effective team – a group of people who work collectively for a common purpose. It is important to communicate to your team the goals and a plan how to reach those goals. Success will depend on the ability of your team to develop new skills and competences. Although you manage a team, always remember that team members still want to be seen and cared about as individuals. Your challenge is to mange individuals in the context of a team.
It takes time and effort to become a great manager. You have to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge, values and emotional competence. But the time and effort are worth it. Great managers make a positive difference to the company as well as to the members of the team. And wouldn’t you rather be remembered for that as opposed to being the reason for someone’s wish to quit.