10 Traits of Great Managers

Have you ever wondered why your immediate manager is being idolized by almost everyone at your company? Or how about thinking that someone may not be right for the position of manager?

In this article you will learn the top 10 traits any great manager should have. As you read along, you’ll encounter real-life happenings in the workplace which you may find helpful. The following traits are in no particular order; see which ones you can recognise in yourself or your manager!


This is an obvious one. No one becomes a manager for nothing. Realistically speaking, managers are managers because they’ve earned it. A common thing to think about is, what are their backgrounds, education and professional accomplishments? But more importantly, how much do their daily decisions and achievements impact your company goals? In order to manage others, they need a minimum level of competence. 


Having empathy may not be common to managers who take the ‘tough love’ approach. Choose to be kind. Being empathetic doesn’t mean that you are supposed to babysit everyone in your workplace just because you’re the manager. Rather, being empathetic means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes in difficult times- what would you do in their position? A large part of being a great manager involves exercising a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ). Choose to understand and be kind.


A positive disposition can be so contagious that it can vastly improve the productivity of your team. Imagine having a pessimistic take on things? Do you think your team members would feel motivated? But remember, being positive doesn’t mean forgetting about what’s real; it’s just trying to see the good in every situation. Problem with a project? Think of ways to tweak the rainy situation—enjoy the rain! What you think, you get. 


They say patience is a virtue and that could not be more true than in the workplace. Being patient is a must because you’ll be interacting with a lot of diverse people. If a manager isn’t patient enough, the team might lose emotional support for their boss. Being patient goes hand in hand with being empathetic. Managers might encounter difficult situations; acknowledge that everyone is continuously learning and can always do better in all things. 


Can you imagine a manager who is not accountable? Being accountable is having the ability to accept, explain, and be responsible for whatever might happen within and outside the team. Being accountable is different from taking the blame. Being accountable means you can identify where you and your team fall short in order to find ways to improve.


A great manager should be flexible because everything can change in an instant. Flexibility means being adaptable and requires an attitude which embraces, even drives, change. Creativity involves finding novel, original solutions for any problem which may arise. Remember, there’s never a  one-size-fits-all solution. The solutions to each problem aren’t necessarily the same because contexts can be so different, which brings us to…


Having a growth mindset is a must because the manager can affect the mindset of his people. The world’s most successful managers have been open to change and continuously seek improvements. Who doesn’t want to grow, anyway? It may time take to nurture a growth mindset but it is essential for ensuring managerial success in dynamic business contexts.


Of course every great manager should be productive. However, one should understand that being efficient and productive is different from being a workaholic. In many cases, quality is more important than quantity; being productive isn’t just about churning out large amounts of work- it’s about producing work which efficiently and effectively helps to achieve business goals.


Great managers are social because they need effective communication skills to influence, teach and motivate team members. Being friendly might be a plus, too, to establish connections and promising partnerships. A little talk would help. Being open to your team is a plus because it makes relationships meaningful on a corporate level. One tip: communicate even if it’s hard!


A great manager should never be a boss. He should lead but act as a team player. A team player gets along well with people, and may work on the same tasks as the team. Great managers shouldn’t be afraid to take on the same responsibilities as their employees when needed.

Everyone can be great regardless of their position. Whether you are a manager or not, these traits are essential to have and can be learned.  It is a continuous process; you can never stop learning to be more and more competent, creative, productive etc. Who knows, you could be the next “great” manager! All the best!

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