A great manager is someone who can ....

Everybody has come across a great manager. A great manager has a strong history of high performance, takes the responsibility of leadership seriously, transforms organisations and achieves results often in the most trying of circumstances. The ability to both identify talent and understand people is often an overlooked aspect of a great manager. Here is a compilation of tips that will help turn a good manager into a great one.

#1 Focus on now

Many of you have probably participated in a job interview and were asked where you want to be in five years. Often, people do not realise that the person doing the interview can also be as unclear about their five-year version of themselves as the candidate. A focus on what will serve the organisation the best at the present moment is often the best place to start. A great manager will identify the soft and hard skills required for the role. In doing so, place lesser emphasis on past performance and more about what they can achieve now.

#2 Consider hiring within

Sometimes, the most obvious yet least visible solution for the job vacancy is already staring at you! Consider promoting somebody from within for a middle-senior role before going external. It can take a very long time for a new hire to be immersed in the culture of their new organisation. Hiring internally sometimes makes more logical sense as it reduces this and allows for hiring at more junior ranks to take place externally. It also builds positive morale.


#3 Build an inclusive workforce


As humans, we have a tendency to hire based on traits/skills that remind us of ourselves. A great manager can see past this and consider personality traits that will complement the skills/knowledge/attitudes of existing team members. Sometimes opposing attitudes and conflict will lead to innovation and drive results.

#4 Make mistakes

We are all human, and we all make mistakes. There is a misconception that a mistake is a negative thing. Very few people look at mistakes positively and see this is where great learning happens. Go and make mistakes, learn and grow! Sometimes it takes trial and error to find out what will work. Identifying great talent is an ongoing process and is difficult to get right the first time.

#5 Celebrate the beautifulness of diversity

When a business employs somebody, they are not simply employed to execute a set of tasks; they are often employed for their ideas. Increasing cultural diversity within an organisation profoundly impacts the ideation process and is often the catalyst to innovation. A great manager will embrace the beauty of having a culturally diverse team.

#6 Love people

A great manager understands people and what motivates people, and how people perform. A great manager is willing to take a chance on the less obvious. Consider employing someone capable and job-ready but perhaps lacking confidence. Investing in people like this is where the magic happens. And it can be quite a humbling process.

#7 Know what keeps people engaged (therefore retained)

Recently, PWC spoke to 1800 respondents Australia wide and asked what was important to them in their career. Of course, remuneration plays a big part (25% voted it number 1) in keeping someone at work, but things are changing in the new hybrid workforce. Others to come close to remuneration are wellbeing (22%), experience with the organisation (16%), way of working (11%), the brand itself (8%). A great manager recognises what keeps their team engaged.

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