7 Myths about Great Managers

1. Great Managers never micromanage.

Great managers are results oriented, even if it means micromanaging to get work done. For instance, if one of their staff is slacking away and that’s affecting deliverables, great managers don’t hesitate to use a little micromanagement to address the problem.

2. Anyone can learn to become a great manager.

This is like saying anyone can fly a plane. Theoretically, yes. Anyone can learn to fly a plane provided they work at it. But if there’s turbulence every time the pilots flies any plane, maybe there’s more to it than the equipment and the weather. People management is not everyone’s cup of tea, some are more suited for other roles.

3. Everyone likes great managers.

Not always! Great managers are often demanding and push you to do your best and that puts them out of favor with some. Their result oriented mindset doesn’t strike a chord with everyone they work with all the time.

4. Great managers treat every team member the same.

Never. Great managers are fair, not consistent. They’re able to ascertain value and reciprocate accordingly. For instance, if Tim and John work on a project where 70% of the work is done by Tim and they both spend equal “face-time” on the project, great managers can tell the difference. So, Tim might a day-off while John does not. Well, that’s not consistent and might even seem “biased”, but it’s fair and square.

5. Great managers never fire people.

Yes and No. Great managers don’t jump at every opportunity to fire staff. But, when performance drops beneath acceptable levels and there is no improvement, they won’t hesitate to let go of people.

6. Great managers never correct in public.

Yes, they occasionally do. In fact, doing that helps the rest of the team understand expectations. This also clarifies the managers stand on unacceptable behavior. Some staff respond better to cubicle talk than closed door meetings.

7. Great managers don’t have favorites.

Yes, they do even when it’s not obvious. They’re fascinated when they find great talent since they’re constantly on the talent hunt to find the best talent to sponsor. And when they find one, they’re secure enough to lobby for them beyond closed doors. Great managers make great sponsors.

I’ve had the privilege of working with many great managers over the course of my career. Have you ever worked for a great manager? What were the things they did that were outstanding?

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on February 10, 2017.

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