What's the secret to being a great leader? Here are some do's and don'ts...

“The best manager is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” - Theodore Roosevelt

How to be a great manager or leader? Excellent leaders and managers come in all shapes and sizes. They can be extroverted or introverted, loud and quiet, stressed or relaxed. Management style is as unique as personalities.  But while the elements of managerial style may vary, there are absolutes one can point to about management substance and what can be universally agreed to be the qualities of a great leader.

Here are 5 things we think the best managers do - and don't do:

  • Do have the big picture in mind - They have a strategic mindset.  They know their company's business and unique selling point, and ensure that the activities of their department are always firmly aligned with broader initiatives and strategies.
  • Do earn the trust of those they manage -  The best managers are credible and always true to their word. In short, trustworthy.
  • Do be unafraid to question their own management - In a thoughtful, respectful way, of course.   A great manager should be open independent and honest thought.
  • Do have consistent behaviour - People like and need routine. Problems arise for employees when a manager is changeable - for example, relaxed and upbeat one day, and then controlling and moody the next.
  • Do treat their employees' time as if it's as important as their own - The best managers earn respect by being every bit as timely and respectful with their own employees as they are, for example, with their own boss.  It shows they value their employees as individuals - a feeling that if honoured will be mutual.

And here are a couple of don'ts:

  • Don't avoid conflict - Since a lot of management involves addressing or adjudicating conflict situations, management is no place for someone who can't deal with conflict.  Resolving all types of conflict diplomatically and effectively is an integral part of the job, a core managerial skill.
  • Don't let the power go to your head - A little power goes a long way; it's easy to abuse. When a lot of people are eager to please you, it's tempting to take advantage.  The best managers realise that power is a privilege.
  • Don't play favourites - As obvious as this point may seem... most managers will admit it's normal to enjoy working with some more than others. Some people are more naturally likeable; and some always have a great attitude, while others may not have the same charm.  But any tendencies toward favouritism should be resisted; it's not only unfair - it's a quick way to lose, or at least damage, the respect of your team.

We run a variety of different management courses all designed to help you become a better leader. Visit our website to find out more.

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