5 habits of superstar managers

It appears we are so quick to recognize the traits of bad bosses; maybe you have a boss at work who is overbearing, impossible, incompetent and just plain apathetic.  The hollywood movie ‘Horrible Bosses’ takes things way to far in terms of how horrible a boss can be but I am sure there are cases out there not too far from the depiction. On today’s blog, I am going to flip things around. I will be focusing on 5 habits of superstar managers.  For those of us fortunate to report into managers / bosses who are so level-headed, we should thank our lucky stars!  Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to work for managers who brought out the best in me and helped shape me to becoming the type of manager I am today.  There are lots I emulate from my past managers; however; I will focus of on my top 5 as discussed below:

  1. Recognizes hard work and gives the occasional ‘pats’: People thrive on recognition for a great job well done.  A superstar manager recognizes this and knows when to show recognition to a subordinate for note worthy achievements. This could span a wide spectrum from giving verbal recognition to awarding monetary gifts for achievements made e.g. employee of the quarter award with a $250 AMEX gift card.  When employees know that hard work pays, they have every incentive to ‘own’ the process, apply themselves 100% and ensure that their deliverables exceed expectations.  Everyone I know definitely loves a pat on the back aka recognition — who doesn’t?
  2. Has an open door policy and is always available: There is nothing more frustrating at work than when a manager is never available for consultation e.g. the manager comes in late to work, is always on the phone or has the office door shut.  A superstar manager understands the importance of having an open door policy and ensuring that he / she is always reachable in the event his/her subordinates are at a road block, or seek clarification or just need to brainstorm on a project or process.  The result is that the subordinates feel confident to know that the manager is a useful resource on the job, one that is willing to offer guidance most especially when the pressure is on.
  3. Delegates effectively and empowers subordinates: Managers who hoard tasks or knowledge are doing themselves a huge disservice.  We grow as people by sharing our knowledge and same goes in the workplace.  An effective manager knows when and how to delegate tasks, knows how to guide subordinates in the process for an effective outcome and definitely provides the opportunity to empower subordinates by having confidence in their abilities.  In short, the best managers teach their subordinates how to perform their own tasks, helping them to grow professionally and providing the opportunity for the managers to expand and take on more responsibilities.  It is as simple as that.
  4. Is down-to-earth and real: A superstar manager understands the demands of life and is not stoic or rigid.  If a team mate or subordinate needs to take the morning off for a doctor’s visit, needs a day off for a family emergency, needs to work from home on a particular day to take care of some plumbing issues or whatever else life throws at one, the manager gets it and does not fuss.  An effective manager, not only empowers his/her subordinates to be their best but ensures that productivity (and not face time) is what counts in the workplace i.e. as long as the job is getting done on time and on budget, it shouldn’t matter if one has to take an afternoon or a day off to take care of some personal issues.
  5. Creates an enabling environment: A superstar manager knows not to scream at people or subordinates in the workplace, is professional, courteous, and uses no abusive or cuss languages.  In short, one of my pet peeves at work is the act of yelling or screaming at anybody — simply unprofessional!

So, if you are an aspiring manager, I implore you to adopt all of the above.  If you are a manager at the moment and are less than superstar due to some behaviors contrary to the above you exhibit, now is the time to flip things around and imbibe the traits of superstar managers.  You will thank you for it and your subordinates will thank you for it because for them, work becomes a ‘vacation’ – fun and fulfilling.

What other traits do you appreciate in a superstar manager?  drop me a comment, I read them all 😀

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