7 Actions that Create Successful Managers

Paul Riddle
Contributing Writer
Success Group International

Leadership, whether good or bad, has a trickle-down effect.  How you, as the leader of your company, treat your managers has a direct effect not only on the performance of your managers, but also on the results produced by the employees those managers are guiding.

Handle your managers the right way and they’ll be more effective in their roles, and so will their employees. Neglect them or fail to support them properly, and their performance—and that of those who report to them—will slip.

Here are seven things you can do to make sure your managers perform to the best of their abilities:

1. Be passionate.  Passion has to flow from the top down. If you don’t display passion for your business and your customers, you can’t expect those working for you to do so either.  Displays of passion can take many forms!  You should always appear attentive and energetic during even the most mundane meetings, show appreciation for individual accomplishments in front of everyone, keep your people in the loop on exciting company developments, etc.  Whatever you do, whatever is bothering you, your people cannot see it.  They must feed off your passion and excitement.

2. Show belief.  If you don’t believe in your managers, they’re in the wrong position. You need to be their No. 1 fan, and let them know it. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly make remarks that inflate their egos. Instead, give manager’s responsibilities that show how much you believe in them.

3. Support decisions. Don’t make your managers run every decision by you for approval before revealing it to their people. If you believe you’ve hired the right people, give them the freedom to make and implement their own decisions. And if you do disagree with something managers do, don’t fight them in front of their people. That tells employees their managers aren’t supported and maybe shouldn’t be in a position of power.

4. Be open personally.  Get to know your managers on a personal level. Engage them in the hallways or the lunchroom. Crack jokes and create a more collegial atmosphere.  Establishing a rapport with managers will make life easier for everyone. They’ll feel more comfortable approaching you with problems or concerns, and you’ll have a more effective problem-solving dynamic between yourself and them.

5. Give them a reward budget.  You can’t expect your managers to push their people to do their best if they’re not empowered to reward top performers. The rewards don’t have to be cash. Let your managers decide what’s best for their team. But give them something they can use to motivate their teams.

6. Give pats on the back.  Some leaders think, “The fact that they get to keep their jobs should be enough to let them know they’re doing a good job.”  That doesn’t fly. Today, if managers aren’t told their work is appreciated, they’ll go to a company where they will be. Don’t let a year go by without providing at least some positive feedback to your managers. Shoot to give at least one positive comment per month.  Can’t think of anything positive? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate their value to the company.

7. Bottom line: Management isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it environment—at least not if you want your managers to be effective. To drive your workforce to be its very best, the managers you bring on board need to see and feel support from their organizational leaders.


About the Author: Paul Riddle, Vice President, Success Group International

Paul Riddle has over 25 years of handson experience as GM, COO, CEO, and owner of service companies specifically in the mechanical and restoration segments. Throughout his career, he has personally trained the owners and employees of hundreds of businesses, including several turnaround situations.  His handson training for owners and their employees has been in the areas of business planning, sales & marketing, and company culture. Paul enjoys applying his knowledge and experience working directly with business owners and their employees to increase profits, improve the company’s present value, and unlock the intrinsic value of the business when sold. Paul joined SGI in 2009 as the VP of Operations.

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