If you are reading this article there is a good chance that managing people is part of your job or you want it to be. I often refer to the following checklist in my own attempt to be a better manager and, hopefully, it can help you too.
As a person…
· You have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
· You are happy with who you are but you are still learning and getting better, regardless of how old you are.
· You don’t have to be the ‘life of the party’ but you can’t be a wallflower either.
· Management is a people skill - it’s not a job for someone who doesn’t enjoy people.
· You are honest and straightforward. Your success depends heavily on people trusting you.
· You are an ‘includer’, not an ‘excluder.’ You bring others into what you do. You don’t exclude them because they lack certain attributes or you do not like them.
· You have a ‘presence’. Managers must lead. Effective leaders have a quality about them that makes people notice when they enter a room.
On the job…
· You are consistent, but not rigid.
· You are dependable, but can change your mind.
· You can make decisions, but easily can accept input from others.
· You think out-of-the box. You try new things and, if they fail, you admit the mistake, but you don’t apologize for having tried.
· You make plans and schedules and work toward them.
· You are flexible and can change plans quickly, but you are not flighty.
· You see information as a tool to be used, not as power to be hoarded.
· You do not reward loyalty unless it is tied to strong performance.
· You realize good processes are not a substitute for poor management skills.
· You do not micromanage, but do provide ‘attaboys or girls’ where appropriate.
· You clearly communicate people’s roles and responsibilities and how it relates to your role and responsibilities.
Doing your job well is always difficult but doing your job well as a manager is an even more daunting task that can always be improved upon. I don’t know remember where I read the following quote or who said it but I think it epitomizes a good manager: “The best manager is the one who has the sense to pick good people to do what he or she wants done and enough self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”