Natural Office Leader: 8 Characteristics of a Great Manager


efwfqeIt’s no secret that businesses need fantastic managers if they want to succeed. A strong manager can be the difference between a motivated workforce and an unproductive team. It is their job to get the most out of the members of their team. But what makes a natural business leader? Here are eight characteristics that great managers should have, provided by Lloyd Wells – an independent blogger and business commentator who sought information from various news sources and reputable websites, including Planday, a staff-management software specialist.

Understand how to empower

A good manager understands how to empower others. Much of this is recognising that a team leader needs to know the individual strengths and weaknesses of each of their staff – they can then use these team members in a way that befits their skills. Additionally, you should we aware of your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can understand when it is best to delegate tasks, or allow someone in your team to take the lead on a task if it’s not your speciality.

Lead by example

Managers who really want to inspire their staff can’t be satisfied with just telling them what to do. To be a great manager you need to show your team exactly how they are expected to behave. Take control and get your hands dirty on a project – show your team that your work ethic should be what they are striving for. If you want your employees to improve or change you can’t expect them to do it just because you think it is a good idea.

Stay transparent

Honesty is something that is hugely valued by everyone. Hiding problems or disguising issues won’t help anything, especially if there is bad news. The people you work with aren’t stupid – they understand when someone is skirting around an issue. Show them that you respect them by being straightforward and transparent. This removes the possibility of rumours or cliques emerging.

Be flexible

Having firm fixed ideas about acceptable working practices might seem like a positive thing – but as a manager it can actually hold you and your team back. The truth is that there are multiple ways to get things done and if someone wants to work one way, it’s better to give them the chance to do it a way that feels comfortable. Of course, you should keep an eye on anything that you’re not familiar to ensure that it still produces a high quality of work, but as long as it does, there’s no reason to enforce another way of working.

Know the benefits of accountability

Great managers take responsibility. That means that if someone goes wrong, you should look for someone to blame. Understand that the blame has to lie at least partly with you. Of course at the same time, you take a share of any success. Equally, you need to make your team aware that this is true for them as well. It’s important for people to take responsibility for failures, not so that blame can be assigned, but so lessons can be learned.


A manager needs to care about their team and see them as human beings with goals and desires. To do this you need to be able to empathise with the needs and requirements of your staff. This is important at every stage of the working process. Putting a worker in a position that they don’t want to be in can lead to them being stressed or anxious. Empathise with their position and look into alternative ways that they can work.

Not afraid to make decisions

When there are lots of different potential ways to move forward, it is a manager’s job to analyse the information available to them and make a decision. Sometimes it can be tempting to hedge your bets and hope that things will turn out fine if they are left to run their course. But a manager needs to display leadership and take charge, rather than assuming that the right solution will make itself apparent.

Remain patient

Patience is a key trait for managers as it is relevant in a huge range of scenarios. Whether it’s being patient with a worker struggling with a particular aspect of a project or being patient with clients on their changing briefs.

Published by Kidal Delonix (937 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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