Management is a funny gig …
I should know. I was a manager for many years.
And even though I’ve switched jobs and am not currently in charge of anyone, I’m sure that I will be again some day as I carve out my new career path.
Depending on your industry and how far you take things, managers can often make several times more compensation than their lowest paid employees.
In fact, to illustrate how extreme this situation can be, Forbes reported that CEO’s (the highest position of management you can have) make 331 times as much as the average employee!
Why is this??
It’s because organizations often associate managers as being able to produce greater overall results than individuals can. They set the direction and make decisions that could result in thousands or even millions of dollars of savings. Therefore, there is quite a different perception of value.
Plus, there is another great thing about being in management: It will always be necessary. Humans on every level need structure like government, teachers, and other leaders to guide them. At work, even the best performing and well intentioned group of individuals will need someone to give them direction and keep them on track.
As someone who has managed other people, I can tell you that some days are certainly more challenging than others. But there is something to be said about the satisfaction of bringing an entire group of people towards reaching a common goal.
So if you believe you have any talent in this area or would like the opportunity to earn more than you are already, take a few minutes to reflect upon this management skills list and ask yourself if you’ve got what it takes to lead others and yourself to success.
The Top 10 Skills Good Managers Have
1. Leadership. A great manager will get others to see the big picture. This is often the most important and hardest of all the management skills because sometimes even managers don’t know where they’re going. That’s why in the field of management there is a lot of debate over whether a “manager” and a “leader” can or should be the same thing. In my opinion, a great one will embody characteristics of both.
2. Charisma. Another of the hardest items on this list is having what it takes to get along with others. A good manager doesn’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but they do have to know how to get the most out of people. And as the old saying goes, you can more flies with honey than with vinegar. Therefore, a little personality and charm can go a long ways!
3. Passion / Ambition. Believing in the greater overall goal, a good manager will be passionate about what they do and internalize their duties. A great manager will find a way to motivate others to do the same. Usually this will be accomplished by getting others to perform the best they can and/or fearing the consequences of not doing so otherwise.
4. Produce Results. Have you ever received poor service from a clerk or server, and then were treated completely different by the manager? That’s because as a manager, they know that they always need to find a solution. Always being able to create choices and produce results is an important part of being a skilled manager because it’s how successful managers create results where others would otherwise fail.
5. Decisiveness. Managers don’t know everything. But they do have the call the shots when no one else will. So whether it’s the right choice or the wrong one, a good manager will make a decision and be able to support why they feel it is the best choice.
6. Listens to Others. Even though a manager is the one to make the call, a smart one will first consider the opinion of those who are more qualified to make the judgment call.
7. Leverages the Talents of Others. A successful manager will see the strengths in others and use them where they are the most appropriate.
8. Challenges You to Develop. At the same time, a successful manager will also see your weaknesses and give you tasks that will force you to grow your skill-set. They will find what motivates you and use it! We can all use a little !
9. Creates Other Leaders. A single person can’t be in charge of everything. For an organization to grow, a truly great manager will need to develop other people into future leaders with the same qualities as you find on this list. Where would Apple be today if Steve Jobs had not groomed Tim Cook?
10. Makes Themselves Not Needed. As ironic as it sounds, the truly successful managers are the ones who develop their people so well that they are rarely needed for all the mundane, everyday decisions. This because they create a well-oiled and efficient machine that requires as little maintenance as possible. By doing, their time freed up to work with other leaders on bigger goals, future growth, and development of the organization as a whole.
This short video from the Harvard Business School sums up these lessons quite well. Enjoy!
Readers – How many of you are managers? What do you consider to be a must on the management skills list, and how do you embody this?
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net