How to Improve Your Effectiveness as a Manager

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.”


John's interest in human character and behavior started while working for a state agency and continued during the time he operated his own retail business for ten years. As he created and presented training on various topics, as an independent consultant, all over the United States, Canada and Europe and later helped many companies “streamline” processes to achieve maximal productivity his main interest continued to be human character. For the past 20+ years he has studied, researched, and t...

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