As you go through your career, you'll always remember a great manager. And, unfortunately, you'll remember the bad as well.
Leading a team is a serious, important, life-changing responsibility. Do it right and your team will flourish with productivity. Do it wrong and they'll look for ways to rebel, and most likely will underperform.
Here are five key things great managers do:
1. Set a Positive Tone.
If you're happy, there's a better chance your team will be happy. If you're grumpy, you can bet your team will follow your lead. Show up to work with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. And don't fake it. Be genuinely happy, see the best in others, and get to work.
2. Be Consistent.
Don't say one thing and do another. If you change your mind, acknowledge it. It's OK to make mistakes. You wouldn't be driving change if every move you made was perfect. If you need to change course, let your team know. Even if it means acknowledging that your initial plans didn't work out.
3. Set Realistic Expectations.
Yes, you're under pressure to improve margins. And stretch goals are part of building and growing a business. But be careful how you set expectations. Don't set up individuals to fail. Think clearly through what you're asking. If the challenges are too great, roll up your sleeves and step in to help, whether it's providing resources or additional guidance.
4. Play Fair.
Never throw a team member under the bus. Deal with problems directly. If it's important to single someone out, do it kindly. And don't throw someone into a catfight. Resolve it at your level. Setting up a fireworks show and observing on the sidelines is not managing.
5. Acknowledge and Reward Skill Sets.
You've hired someone, you've worked together well and you notice he or she displays skills that could help the team in ways you hadn't considered. Revise the job description. Let the job branch out in new and creative ways. This provides empowerment and job satisfaction. When the time is right, be sure to compensate accordingly.