After being managed for years throughout my career, it’s hard to imagine being the one managing others.
As I begin taking on more management responsibilities, I have fears and doubts about my ability to be an effective leader. Will I be respected by others, effective in my role and still seem approachable? It’s hard to know what kind of leader I’ll be until I’m in that position, but in the meantime, I’ve been thinking about what qualities I think make someone worth following.
I’ve been lucky enough to work under some very talented, forward-thinking and inspiring leaders, who have deeply influenced my career. They have each shown me different qualities that make up a great leader; traits that have made me create my best work, think bigger and grow faster. In preparation for a leadership role, I’ve identified five key management traits I feel are most important to embody:
- Have a Vested Interest: A manager should take a vested interest in the personal lives and professional success of all their team members. If I feel I’m cared about and valued, it makes me want to work harder.
- Trust Them: If an employee consistently delivers great work, a manager should reward them with trust. Having a manager’s trust makes me feel more accountable for my work, which often improves my performance.
- Know Their Strengths/Weaknesses: Knowing each team member’s biggest strength and weakness is an important part of being an effective leader. If a manger can delegate work based on each person’s best skills, I’ve found it makes for a more effective and efficient team.
- Have a Good Sense of Humor: In the midst of a stressful day or crisis, the best managers don’t only keep their cool; they also keep their sense of humor. Humor has made my mangers seem more approachable, relatable and ironically more in control of a situation.
- Be Their Best Advocate: A good manager does everything in their power to help their employees grow in their current role and beyond. When I know a manager has my back, I feel confident in my abilities and am more likely to succeed.
These key management qualities, inspired by real leaders, are ones that have helped me produce my best work and make the best career decisions. I would like to mention all those who have inspired me to be a better professional and will forever influence my career and future leadership roles.
- Amos Snead
- Courtney Farrell
- Janet Gruenewald
- Paula Barros
- Kristi Campbell
- Allison Kohler
- Becky Dennis
- Kristin Mulligan
- Shannon Weidinger
What qualities do you think make a great leader?