Traits of a Leader

How to be a Great Manager

Ed Oakley asked:

There are several traits that are vitally important for managers to develop and exhibit in order to be great manager, but in today’s world, the most important trait that a manager must success to be a great manager is leadership. In fact, without leadership skills and qualities, a manager will struggle to keep up in a competitive and rapidly changing business world. Managers today who are trying to learn how to become a geat manager need to have the ability to empower the people that they lead to be creative, make decisions, and use their strengths to work toward accomplishing goals. Over the past several decades, the traits of great managers have evolved and changed. Today, there is no more important quality for a manager than that of being a leader.

The necessity of leadership skills in managers has changed through the years. In the middle of the 20th century, there seemed to be a great deal of emphasis on the manager being a decision maker. The manager’s main job was to make sure that the processes were in place to achieve maximum results, and that people were employed to carry out those processes. This management model resembled a military battalion, with one general placing troops strategically to carry out tasks. Leadership was about giving orders and following through to see that the orders were completed.

In the past, management has also been somewhat about power. You still occasionally hear people talk about “climbing the corporate ladder,” but not nearly as often as we used to hear the phrase. The number of people working under someone today is not nearly as important as the responsibilities tied to each employee’s job function. The main difference is that employees today are empowered to use their creativity and ingenuity to contribute and be innovative rather than take and carry out orders.

The role of leadership has certainly evolved into something different in today’s world. We educate our future leaders in universities around the world, emphasizing concepts like teamwork and how to communicate and work with other people. Instead of preparing future managers for a centralized system where one person is making the bulk of the decisions, employees at all levels of most companies have the power and ability to contribute and implement their ideas. The main job of a manager today is no longer to issue orders, but to set a strategic vision and then let the other capable minds on the team participate in determining how goals will be achieved.

The great news about effective leadership as a manager is that these are skills that can be learned!

There are several easy techniques that managers can adopt that will prepare them to be leaders in today’s business world almost overnight. Managers today that view their management role as a power position end up struggling to be great leaders. A true leader has the confidence and feels secure enough to empower the people he or she manages rather than control them. This paradigm shift from the old style of management maybe the single most important key to being a great manager in any business today.



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