Being a good manager

Business management techniques – being a good manager

A good manager I would define as a person who is a leader, is well trained in the business being managed, and can create a business environment that is self-generating and self-perpetuating.

Traits evident in a good manager are:


·        Be inciteful                            

o       Have the ability to ‘see’ needs and circumstances

o       See problems before they eventuate

o       Be able to quickly analyse what are the real issues

o       See where your input is needed to improve or control a situation

o       A good manager is not threatened by people but sees them as integral to success and self development.

o       Managers must learn to use staff to get the best results. If you have to do everything yourself then either your staff are either deficient in management/work skills or you have failed to delegate… therefore when you go down so does your business!


·        Be a visionary

o       Picture the future and the bigger picture for yourself, staff and your business

o       Always be aware of opportunities and look for them constantly as this quality alone seems to generate the entrepreneurial flair needed for success

o       Where will you be in 1,3,5 or 10 years

§         steps are: think a plan, do the plan, document, analyse progressive results not only in the context of past success but how it affects the future

o       Where will your business be in 1,3,5 or 10 years

§         must include sales, expense, cash-flow budgets and systems flow

§         must look at future products and the product mix for your business

§         must look at how you would handle growth

§         must look to add new areas to your business over time

o       Where will your key staff be in 1,3,5 years

§         must be discussed and documented at all levels to gain acceptance of your vision and to ensure your staff share the same views and expectations

§         staff must be on board with where the business is going

o       What is the state and future of your industry and business environment


·        Be hard-working

o       Always work to the needs of the organization beyond tiredness and excuses, whilst also querying how effectively staff are assisting

o       Work as hard as is required to ensure success within your business

o       Completion of all required controls and tasks is your responsibility

§         delegation to another does not remove your responsibility to ensure the task is completed on time and satisfactorily

§         in my consulting career I am constantly amazed how people ‘blame’ another because they have the line authority to complete the task but do not accept that as the manager they have the responsibility to ensure completion… the effective word here is manager = management and responsibility includes your staff’s performance

§         if your staff do not perform that means you as a manager have not performed so the buck stops with you

o       Set tasks for your staff and ensure satisfactory completion

o       Reward success and effort


·        Show kindness

o       Have empathy:  this may be best described as “walk a mile in my shoes”

o       Be a generous spirit:  be generous of yourself in time, money and effort

o       Be naturally friendly:  smile rather than frown and have a balanced temperament. Do you have bad days and good days… they need to be very similar in style and presentation as you must present a consistent front

o       Be considerate:  treat people with RESPECT and think of their needs

o       This does not mean being a patsy for every excuse


·        Be a great communicator

o       You know how to formulate your message

o       You know how to deliver your message for maximum effect

o       Communication is an essential ingredient of management – it can be learned but must be practiced with continual self-appraisal and content analysis

o       Choosing what items to communicate and how is also very necessary. Good managers seem to inherently know what to say at the right time

o       Separate essential information from ‘fluff’ and know how to impart this knowledge so that various levels understand – précis rather than waffle

o       Judge your communication critically to ‘feel’ how others will receive your message:

§         Is it sexist                   (not a complete no-no just watch your step)

§         Is it relevant               (is the subject matter worthy of the message)

§         Does it include commentary that could offend

§         Does it fit the target audience

·         factory staff or clerical

·         line management

·         senior management

·         board room

·         shareholders, outside people, etc

§         Does it fit your company standards

§         How would you feel if this was said to you

§         For example: If you spoke to a room full with 10 people and they all said you stated X but you had said Y then you are wrong even if the tape recording of the meeting proves you said Y – you did not get your message across!


·        Be intolerant of fools

o       Deliberately dumb and stupid people should not only give you a headache, but make you angry. People have the choice to work hard and improve. All people have the capacity to learn and develop and some choose not to… these may be categorized as fools. They deserve to be unemployed because there are a lot of people seeking a chance to be part of a team, your team

o       Some will find criticism in my calling people stupid, but I did state deliberately stupid, and I make no apologies for culling dills that never try and always complain. Visit a sheltered workshop and see how hard people with an intellectual disability try their heart out and you then should become very intolerant of persons who adopt an ‘I can’t do that’ attitude but they still rock up for their pay!

o       I would also set the working person who is a ‘wise-guy/white ant’ type of person as a fool that needs control. Someone who always has a ‘clever’ or annoying comment and takes the thrust away of what you are trying to achieve or communicate should be strongly talked to, controlled or sent on their way. People who deliberately cause trouble or are perpetual ‘naysayers’ can be very harmful to morale and other people’s performances

o       Come down very hard on bullies. They are not only bad for your business they are also the ones who will give you the most trouble. Conscientious people who are considerate of others are what you should foster in staff

o       Control sexual behaviour amongst staff especially on business premises

o       Many managers, especially junior managers do not appreciate how destructive these people can be to workplace harmony and acceptance of what they have to say. Usually younger or impressionable staff will see the manager’s avoidance at handling this type of person as a weakness (which it is) and will ultimately lead to sniping, workplace bullying etc as possible consequences. Ever had the nagging auntie who always knew better and made your life and that of your father or mother hell. That is the impact the ‘white ant’ or ‘wise-guy’ has on fellow workers.

o      Golden Rule:   don’t try → goodbye


 Copyright and all rights reserved: Walter SJ Tegelaar 2013

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