Bambang Ramdhan
Sep 18, 2015 · 5 min read

What does make a good manager? If you’re a manager, you may ask this question to yourself in front of your bathroom mirror in the late morning. Do you find the answer?

Having worked in three different companies, I realized something quite important. A manager is a role model. Managers, executives, supervisors, superintendents, bosses. The terms may be varied, but in general they are the ones we looked up to in the office. For employees, especially for young workers, the manager are their teacher.

So, how to be a good manager? Especially, in the eyes of your employee?

Try not to always come late to work

Tardiness is dangerous. It causes problem which affects the company as well as damages employee morale. It’s chain that must be break to avoid the infection. The problem will be bigger if it is the manager who is chronically late. If you’re late, your employees could see it as the way they work too. They would imitate you. But…

Due to the need of the company, a manager may have flexible time. Looking at the background, it is understandable. A manager may have to attend meetings with client outside the office. The may also have to attend evening meetings, so they’re allowed to come late in the next morning.

Tardiness can be acceptable if the reason is reasonable. How your employee perceive this behaviour is most important. The department must be able to explain the act of the manager to avoid problems, such as misunderstanding and miscommunication.

(If you tend to come late most of the time) Do you come late for those particular reasons? If not, like seriously, ask yourself. You’re a manager, your employees look up to you. They perceive you. They’re good because their managers are good. They’re bad, because their managers are bad.

Bad managers bark orders

The most annoying act a manager could do is barking orders, ask so many things to do without any explanation or context to explain. Sure as a manager you have power to order. But giving orders without knowing its fundamental objective could humiliate your employees. Bad managers tell. Good managers explain why.

Know how to communicate, Know how to act

Communication is the main key. A good manager must be able how to communicate. It’s not as simply as talking directly to your employee. Understand the situation, explain the context. Communication is irreversible. Once you say something, it can’t be undone. You can ask for forgiveness if you mistakenly say bad things to your employees. But still, you cannot reverse it.

Communicate with them and accept feedback they send to you. It will definitely engage you with your employees.

The employees are adults and they deserve our respect. Don’t act like you’re the king of the world. Treat them how you want to be treated. Respect them how you want to be respected. They deserve great leaders who can work together to help everybody succeed.

Leaders must set aside their egos and century-old habits. Instead of dictating how things get done (and expecting obedience and compliance), managers need to work together with employees to define how the work is done.

Deal with conflicts directly and fairly

An office, the workplace environment is a battle ground. Everyone fights for their future. Everyone fights for their company. It is somehow a ground of conflicts too. Conflict among employees, personal issues, recognition, cost-cutting, and so on.

A good manager always finds a way to confront difficult situation. How to deal with them directly and fairly. Employees respect those managers who can make a better decision and disrespect them who avoid this situation.

The key to being an effective leader is to have a broad repertoire of styles and to use them appropriately. — Rosalind Cardinal

Help your employees

Have you ever read Becoming Steve Jobs, a biography by Rick Tetzeli a Fast Company executive editor and Brent Schlender a long time Valley reporter who came to know Jobs intimately over the 25 years he spent covering Apple. Steve Jobs helped employees in unexpected ways.

Tetzeli revealed this detail about how Jobs went above and beyond with employees:

We have many anecdotes of Steve defying the common stereotype. One from his personal life is the fact that Steve, after he got sick, helped several Apple employees and friends when they or their loved ones developed cancer. He’d make up spreadsheets of the kinds of care available, he’d talk about the doctors who did the treatment, he’d talk about cost.

Tetzeli also shared this example of Jobs’s style of honest criticism:

A work example is from Pixar, where, when a movie was in trouble, Ed Catmull would call on Steve to have a personal conversation with the director. This wasn't a scolding thing. Steve and the director would just go on a walk together, and Steve would lay out — in his own, unvarnished, crystal-clear way — exactly where the movie had gone off the tracks.

It was a punch to the gut, but it was told in a way that made it clear that the failure was anything but personal. This is one of the complexities of Steve’s criticism — it could injure those who didn't know him well, but it could be extremely valuable to those who did know him well.

Of course you are not Steve Jobs, you don’t have to act like him. You don’t need to help your employees the way Jobs did. The book also told the readers not to imitate Steve Jobs management style. But it doesn't mean you can’t be Steve Jobs in your own way.

Your employees are your family, help them to reach a better place in their lives — job. Help them to be a better employee, because they will surely help you to be not only good, but also a great manager.

“To be a manager, one must be able to manage her own relationship with the people around her, as well as the relationships among her subordinates. Just being perfect in paperwork and operations does not make one a good manager.”
Sophie L. Rose

Bambang Ramdhan

Written by

A man who loves to write.

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