If you asked a thousand people what makes a great manager, you would likely get a thousand different answers. Great managers come in all different forms, and have many different strengths and personality traits. While every manager’s day-to-day can be unique, the following mindsets can be applied by managers in any industry and company to improve the way they lead their teams.
- It’s no longer about me.To be a great leader, a challenging yet critical mindset to adopt is to stop looking for success for yourself and start celebrating the wins of those on your team. Adopting this mindset encourages your team to be productive and aim for big wins, which benefits your bottom line and boosts the overall environment of your workplace.
- Time and money are not excuses. The easiest way to shut down an idea is to pull the “we don’t have enough time” or “we don’t have enough money” card. The world’s greatest managers find time and money for the projects and people they care most about. What you’re really saying when you use either of these two excuses is, “this is not a priority for me.” Being a great manager means being able to honestly communicate that something isn’t a priority without using an excuse. Replace the words time and money with priority; and use the conversation as an opportunity to share with your team what the priorities really are.
- Building relationships is part of my job. Often managers will complain that they are frustrated by the time and energy that their employees require of them because it takes away from their own work. Great managers know that the time used to build and deepen the relationships with those around them is one of the most important parts of their job. “Wasted” hours making small talk and getting to know your team builds trust, and this trust is essential for managers when they want to make decisions and have their team’s support. Having the patience to spend what might seem like unproductive time building relationships is a big part of the job that will save you time in the long run when changes you’re implementing face less resistance because you have the team’s trust.
- It’s always my fault. The most powerful mindset any manager can have is to assume everything that is not going well is 100% their fault. It’s easy when we rely on others to get work done to blame them when things are not going well. Adopting the mindset that anything going wrong on your team is your fault puts you in a position of power because you can now identify the things you can do differently to change the situation or outcome.
- People want to be seen and heard. Great managers know and respect the power and influence they hold around people’s work lives. For most of us, our work and how we earn a living are two of the most important things in our lives. Great managers are aware that their team members want to be seen and heard for the contributions and value they are adding to their workplace. Not only are they aware, but they use every opportunity they can to listen and acknowledge the strengths of their team members.
Adopting these mindsets can take time and practice. Select the ones which you already practice and continue doing what is working well for you. If there is one mindset that you don’t agree with, it’s likely the one you need to consider the most. Take time to reflect on how your work would be different if you practiced this mindset for a couple weeks and put it into practice. Any of these mindsets can be adopted or dropped at anytime and the world’s best managers are continuously seeking new ways to improve their own management abilities to better support their teams.
Amanda Hudson is the founder of A Modern Way to Work – an HR and People Management consultancy.