Managing Performance / Setting Goals

Business Management: Key Skills of Great Managers

Naz Daud asked:

Managing a business requires a wide range of skills and experience. All managers will have things that they are good at, and things that they are not. In this article I will examine the key skills that you should look to develop as a manager, and, if you’re an employer, the skills you should expect your managers to possess.


All good managers should be able to effectively delegate responsibility to appropriately qualified staff within their business. Good management is about ensuring that a project or goal is successfully achieved, however it rarely means a manager should do it on their own. That’s why they have to be good at picking the right people to do the job, and managing their execution. Being good at delegating can also mean being good at understanding someone’s strengths and weaknesses.


A manager should be able to hold themselves accountable for things that they are given management responsibility for within their business. Although it will not always be their fault directly, they should be willing to take responsibility when it’s someone they are directly responsible for that’s failed.

Foster Team Spirit

A good manager will be able to foster a good team spirit, and ensure that everyone is comfortable performing their duties within the team. As a manager will generally be overseeing the execution of a project, rather than doing it directly, they should also be good at planning & evaluating a team’s progress towards the goal they have been assigned responsibility for.

Calm & Collected

If a manager is not able to remain calm during difficult times, it will be hard for their staff to do so. That’s why a manager should be able to show strength during difficult times resisting the temptation to lose mental control when the going gets tough.


It’s important for a manager to show that they are loyal to their staff. This can be done through showing appreciation for things that they do well, and also rewarding them too. If a member of staff is having an issue, a manager that is readily available and genuinely helpful will be able to cement their pivotal role as a leader within the business through addressing this issue quickly, before it gets out of hand.


It’s important that a manager is respected by staff and other members of the management team. This can be affected by a number of factors, such as: whether or not the manager is good at their job; the way the manager acts towards their employees; their commitment to their job; how the employees perceive the managers out-of-work behaviour, and many more factors.

Distance versus Friendship

Some managers believe it is more important to be friendly with their staff, while others prefer to keep a distance – claiming that if you become too close to your employees, they will expect far too much and take more liberties.

Although there is no right answer, both techniques can work better depending on the type of team that you’re dealing with. When you are working with a self-motivated team, it can often work well to develop a close personal bond with them. However, when your team need more day-to-day management in order to do their job, it might be preferable for them to keep their distance. It is a good idea to analyse each situation accordingly, and work out the best approach to take.

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