Being a good manager is a testament to your mindset as a developer of people. You have to be able to deal with the insecurities and shortcomings of your employees with patience, and you must have the willingness to teach them to step into their power and develop their best selves. You cannot be in a rush or be too self-absorbed. You have to like people – your people. When you hire, you need to follow your intuition faithfully and only hire folks who have the ability to do the job and the willingness/motivation to do it. Despite your best efforts, you cannot motivate people who have no internal drive.
Here are some key actions to support the positive manager mind-set:
Be an advocate for your people. Your job is to listen to the concerns of your employees and advocate for what they need, whether it’s new computers, more training, or raises. You are the chief problem-solver; you must communicate genuine appreciation and concern for your staff. They need to feel you are behind them 100 percent.
Be a visionary. You are the navigator with the plan to meet the team goals. While you want to solicit input regularly from your team, it is your job to create the plan and inform everyone about his or her role. The master plan that you develop determines the results that you want everyone embracing and implementing.
Promote creativity. A recent survey of CEOs cited creativity as the most vital skill of 21st century leadership. Do not be afraid to innovate and experiment to give yourself the leading edge in the marketplace. Keep a journal of new ideas that could improve the performance and satisfaction of your team. Give your team permission to try new strategies. Mistakes are a part of the learning process that creative people must experience before breakthroughs occur.
—Gail McMeekin, Career Coach