How to be a good manager: 27 points to becoming a successful leader


how to be a good manager and successful leader


Here at Siteware, due to our work, we have a habit of developing long-term relationships with customers. Therefore, we have already had the opportunity to observe the development of professionals who began their career in internships or trainee programs and nowadays occupy management positions.

What were the determining factors for these professionals to follow this path? Do they know how to be a successful manager? Is there something in common with these people who are from different generations and industries? What are the attitudes that caught the attention of the managers who promoted them?

There is no “recipe” or even a step-by-step guide for how to become a great manager. Nor is this the purpose of this post. The goal here is to bring together 27 characteristics that every good company manager must have or develop in order to continue in their career path.

How to be a good manager: attitudes that every manager needs to demonstrate

1. Take initiative and be proactive

Proactive behavior demonstrates how much you, as a professional, are engaged with the ideals of your company or industry. Try to think “out of the box” by adopting actions such as: getting to know your competitors and their way of behaving, talking to customers, identifying new business opportunities, etc.

2. Remove obstacles

Remember the many times you have, throughout your professional career, questioned the bureaucratic processes in your company.

And now, with you in the position of manager, have you thought about what you can do to eliminate everything that generates control but does not add value to the process, product or service of your company?

3. Be humble and listen

Really successful managers are those who listen and trust their team. This is how they become leaders by merit. You can’t be a great manager without this attitude.

4. Try to stay focused

Avoid distractions, make a list of what you plan to do during the week, and then plan each day. Take the time to review and “cross-out” the completed tasks on this list once a day. We can guarantee that the sense of accomplishment is worth the time spent in organizing this work.

5. Never be satisfied with the result

You should not become a person who complains about everything. The idea here is to believe that you can always do more, thus getting the best out of you and your team.

6. Set challenging but achievable goals

Do not misunderstand us, this point does not contradict the previous one. Do not create unattainable goals, as this will only demotivate your team.

The idea here is to create achievable goals according to the ability of your team, but as soon as you reach the goal, your dissatisfaction should lead to new challenging goals.

7. Relief from operational tasks

You have to change the key, mind-set, stop focusing on operational issues. If you took on a management position it is because the company believes in your managerial ability, so delegate all the operational tasks. There is no way to be a successful manager if you continue to operate in an operational manner.

8. Share the information

Successful managers talk to their entire team often, preferably in person.

This may sound crazy to us who live in an increasingly digital world, but often corporate communication is flawed, and when we make this statement, we’re not just talking about communication in big business.

How many times have we not encountered problems that arose because top management acted as if the employees knew what it was, but did not really know?

9. Have a passion for business

You must believe in what you do, obstacles and difficulties will invariably appear. Day after day, you will need to get up from bed energetic to face a new battle, and only the passion for your work will be able to keep your productivity and the motivation of your team on the rise.

And you, do you agree or disagree with these nine points? Did you see the attitudes and leadership styles you already practice in your corporate day-to-day life and maybe some which you still need to develop more?

The next points that a manager should develop are in relation to attitudes and behaviors.

10. Give and receive feedback

This tool, often overlooked by professionals, is highly efficient in aligning expectations between a manager and the team. Well structured feedback provides continuous development of employees and also the manager, helping to create a high performance team.

11. Involve your team in tough decisions

It is always enriching to hear different opinions on a controversial subject.

Generally the best ideas are created in a collaborative way, arising from the combination of the visions of the different collaborators. Listen to the different opinions and defend your point of view, be democratic whenever possible and do not run away from responsibility because, in the end, the decision has always been yours.

12. Seek to retain talent

The incessant quest for the creation of a high-performance team can not be limited to hiring talent. More important than paying good salaries, you need to create an atmosphere that captivates, nourishes ambitions, ensures safety and fosters the continued growth of these professionals.

13. Act like the owner

This is a point to develop to be an admired manager,as it’s not always common in a manager. Acting as an owner requires you to place yourself in the customer’s position, having a systemic view of the business, deciding and acting on what is best for the company strategically.

14. Empower your team by delegating

Delegating tasks is an art that every good manager must practice all the time, thus avoiding the centralization of all work. When delegating a task you have to keep in mind that the result may not be satisfactory, so know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your team, be clear in defining what needs to be done, how it should be done and the deadline for that.

Track job execution and give support when needed, and help remove obstacles that appear. In the end, give feedback on the result, point out what’s good and what needs to be improved, so you’ll be continually empowering your team.

15. Walk around the company

There is no better of knowing what is happening in your company than walking around and talking to people from different areas. By acting in this way you will more easily perceive the organizational climate and end up having access to information directly from its source, without intermediaries.

16. Be prepared to mediate and resolve conflicts

Behold, the time comes when you must act as a judge. Try to listen to the different versions of the facts, avoid taking sides, stay calm and seek the best decision for the company. When a conflict arises, try to act as quickly as possible, prevent the discussion from spreading throughout the company.

17. Act as a coaching team

Knowing each team member is vital so that you can help them achieve their goals and also align them with the purpose of the company. Identify each professional’s gaps and assist them in developing their careers.

Several researchers point out that subjecting an employee to the coaching process increases their productivity. “A Leader is that person who has been given the responsibility to bring out the best in others,” Jack Welch (former CEO of GE).

18. Ongoing learning

It is always important to keep up to date, define a career plan and look for ways to train yourself by giving special attention to your weaknesses, whether through specialization, short courses, reading books, etc. After all, knowledge is never too much.

19. Take care and protect your employees

Several of the topics discussed in this series have already made clear a manager’s need to know their employees. By understanding and dealing with the needs of each member of your team, it protects your employees and gains everyone’s loyalty.

A good example of the loyalty we are talking about is a professional who went to work on Sundays because when his mother was ill, he was able to leave early to stay with her during the week.

20. Be objective and fair

Base all your decisions on facts and not on conversations or “gossip.” Always go straight to the point, bluntly. Objectivity at these times conveys a certain security in the decision being made and is one of the attitudes of valued managers.

21. Adapt your style

Each member of your team is unique, so remember, all the time, that each one must be managed in a different way.

Try out new ways to delegate, track work progress, and collect results by adapting your leadership style.

See what works with one that may not work with other contributors.

22. Always remember that you are in control

Being a good people manager means knowing how to delegate.

Delegate what can be delegated, choose the member of your team most appropriate to perform a certain task, but keep in mind that the responsibility for the final result will be yours.

So make it clear how you want something done, create ways to keep up with your work, and act quickly when there is a detour.

23. Be close to your staff and keep the door open for everyone

The work environment has undergone several modifications in the last 30 years. Walls have been broken down, the height of stalls has been decreasing, and nowadays a large number of managers even share a desk with their team.

This helps make the whole team feel free to put forward their ideas. Chat, associate and listen to your team members all the time.

24. Demand excellence

You can not be a good manager without seeking excellence.

A good leader should not be content with the average work of their team, because in order to form an excellent team, it is necessary for managers to also perform at a high level.

If a member of your team performs less than expected, fails to deliver work, or even does it poorly, work to fix the situation, this is one of managerial attitude that can not be postponed.

If performance issues persist, low performers should be replaced.

25. Set an example

Do not just talk, act the way you talk. Get your hands dirty and show how a new job or activity should be performed, this will reinforce your leadership position. Just be careful not to stay in the operating room all the time.

26. Look to the future

Want to know how to be a good manager? Do not regret past performance or mistakes. A true leader must learn from the past, but keep an eye on opportunities and future outcomes. In the words of Peter Drucker:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

27. Be Resilient

The term “resilience” is one of the attitudes of sound managers and is defined in the dictionary as:

  • a) the ability of items to return to their original shape after being subjected to deformation;
  • b) ability to adapt to change.

These two definitions fit perfectly for a good manager, who must be able to get up and continue to work when faced with an adverse situation and also adapt to changes of scenery, internal or external to the team.

Bonus Tips on how to be a good manager

Have fun, celebrate achievements and be grateful!

We needed to limit the list of good managerial attitudes within the 27 tips but we could not leave these out. When becoming a manager you need to keep in mind that your responsibility increases. To handle the message you will have to work hard, stay focused and avoid distractions.

Just do not get sad for no reason and if you do, at least be optimistic and look for happiness in your work. Celebrate what went well, remember that achievements are not only yours but the whole team’s.

And you, do you agree with the 27 points for how to be a good manager discussed in the post? Can you understand the attitudes you already practice in your day to day business and those you still need to develop more?

Siteware has extracted the essence of the various management models and created complete, easy-to-use solutions that contribute to the execution of the strategy and improvement of company results. That way we help you to know how to be a good leader and manager.

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Text by: Marcello Ladeira CEO of Siteware, passionate about innovation and simplifying people’s lives.