Five qualities of an effective manager

Kate Jones
@kateljnes

Successful managers can be captains of their ships, steering them through troubled waters and into calmer seas.

They can motivate and discipline their crew, solve problems and set goals. But being a leader is testing for even the best people managers and business brains.

Managers constantly need to update their skills to foster healthy team morale while simultaneously promoting business growth. It takes confidence, commitment and initiative.

Follow these tips from Australian Institute of Management chief executive Daniel Musson to become an effective manager.

Have a vision

Whether you are leading a small business or a department, you need to define your vision. Everyone on your team, and most importantly you, needs to work towards a clear set of goals.

This not only unifies your employees – it develops a set of standards to carry your organisation into the future.

“You know the vision and you know it’s not just a dream,” Musson says.

Setting benchmarks early is key to effective management. Communicate your expectations regularly and most importantly, lead by example.

Map it out

Develop a plan that will navigate the way forward for your organisation. Keep it simple, by chunking down on the detail. Create short and long term goals to help you lead the way there.

“Understand where you’re going, where you want to go and the steps you need to take to get there,” says Musson.

Economic conditions are constantly changing, so your plan needs to be flexible and regularly updated.

Surround yourself with good operators

Great leaders get nowhere without great teams behind them. Familiarise yourself with the skills you need in an employee. Give your current staff opportunities to develop these skills with on and off the job training.

When it comes to hiring, search out your target skillsets in new employees.

Set clear expectations

Setting benchmarks early is key to effective management. Communicate your expectations regularly and most importantly, lead by example.

Engage your employees by working just as hard as they do and be accountable to the same expectations as they are.

Make it your business to know your staff by recognising their achievements, follow-up on any issues they raise and make time to talk to them.

Know the details

Effective managers are the touchstones of their organisation. They know when cash is incoming and outgoing, and whether budgetary goals are being met.

But it’s not just about the figures. Make it your business to know your staff by recognising their achievements, follow-up on any issues they raise and make time to talk to them.

Kate Jones

Kate Jones writes for the business and money sections of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. She also writes for The New Daily, TAC, RMIT and is a news writing tutor at Monash University.

Image: Kumar Appaiah, Flickr Creative Commons license

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