Nature or Nurture…Good Managers are Born and Bred
Sure, there are people that were born to lead. We all know them. We’re drawn to them for their charisma, their intellect, their passion, their ability to bring people together and get results. These people know from an early age that they are destined for big things. It comes naturally to them. And they usually don’t disappoint.
If this describes you, congratulations! You hit the genetic jackpot. Even if you’re not quite sure of a career direction yet, you know wherever you land success will follow. One of your greatest attributes is your confidence and it will take you far up the leadership ladder.
But biology and pedigree aren’t the only factors to make a great leader. Surely you’ve heard plenty about what qualities describe an effective manager. You’ve likely read articles and/or books about management. In fact, if this career path appeals to you, you might have even studied it in college. So you should know all about the fundamentals like communication skills, time management, organization and conflict resolution and we don’t need to rehash them here.
There are also several learned behaviors that most anyone with the right motivation can use to cultivate their management skills.
- Fearlessness. Managers must be comfortable with risk. If you lack that resilience, get on the roller coaster, walk the bridge, hold the snake; or whatever you need to conquer your personal fears.
- Creativity. Usually, it’s not a straight line from departure point to destination. The best paths are taken by managers that have vision and encourage resourcefulness. Get in touch with your inner artist, chef, musician or author. Inspire imagination.
- Tolerance. Patience is necessary to successfully deal with people and with the stresses that inherently come with a higher position. If your feathers get easily ruffled, start practicing yoga now. Your team and your customers will look to you for calming energy.
- Objectivity.Favorites should be reserved for ice cream flavors or pizza toppings. They should never come into play with employees or customers. You must be neutral and impartial. You are Switzerland.
- Adaptability. Creating policies, and ensuring they’re maintained, is inevitable but if you lack the ability to be flexible when it’s appropriate, you will alienate yourself. You want to be known as firm but fair, not rigid.
- Relatability. People are pretty keen. They can usually see through someone who pretends to be something they’re not. Be yourself and encourage this from your team – embrace the unique qualities of the people you manage.