10 Things a GREAT Manager MUST Do

by Extreme John on July 21, 2010

Management Tips

As a small business owner I am constantly looking for ways to help our new managers succeed within their positions and grow to be good managers in future positions. One of the biggest challenges I face as a small business owner on a daily basis is the challenge of making everything consistent within our six chain tanning salon company. I like consistency within the company and especially within the management organization, as Im sure most managers and business owners do.

When it comes to Extreme Tan and Smoothies and the management staff that is responsible for operating and maintaining each location on a daily basis I want GREAT managers, not good… GREAT! Here’s a list of 10 things that I feel a GREAT Manager MUST DO in order to have success within their position and build an effective team, without effective teams you rarely have great managers.

10 Things a Great Manager Must Do

10 Things a Great Manager Must Do

1. Actively Listen

Nodding your head like a puppet monkey on a string isn’t going to impress anyone or get anyone to believe that you actually care about their issue so stop the silly act . Instead of nodding your head, saying yes and firing off a response you might consider actively listening….. That means SHUT UP and listen, wait for the individual speaking to finish, think about what the individual said, consider repeating what the individual said back to them to ensure that you understand and most importantly, they understand that YOU understand. Now respond.

2. Learn

Be willing to explore and find new information. When someone with more experience and knowledge than you offers you information you should refer to the first thing in this list. You don’t know it all, be willing to learn.

3. Ask Questions

Not too many people like a “know it all”, and not too many “know it all’s” make it as successful GREAT managers. Ask your associates questions about their job and responsibilities, ask them the things they dislike most and work to make those things a little better whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in regards to your job, you never know what you might hear or learn.

4. Teach

The days of protecting your job because you hold all infinite wisdom are over. Don’t be selfish with the knowledge you have been fortunate enough to obtain, share it with your staff and teach them ways to put your knowledge to use.

5. Delegate

You might be one of those super efficient small business owners or managers that feels like they must get everything done on their own, even with awesome tools like Remember the Milk the best managers can’t get EVERYTHING done. Don’t be afraid to DELEGATE tasks to your associates. Delegating tasks and delegating them the right way does nothing but empower your associates and help you to achieve more in the long run.

6. Follow Up

You might be fantastic at writing massive lists for your associates, delegating everything under the sun out to your associates so that you can “be the manager”. Only problem is if you don’t know how to effectively follow-up chances are all of your delegated tasks will soon become trash can decorations. Actually, do me a favor…… If your not going to follow-up don’t bother delegating, it saves you from pretending to be a good manager and it saves your associates from having to do tasks for someone that doesn’t really care anyway.

7. Hold People Accountable

In a perfect world every associate does exactly what they are suppose to do every time they come to work. Perfect worlds don’t exist. When your associates don’t do what they are expected to do it’s a good managers job to manage and hold people accountable for their actions. A solid 3 step counseling process can make this very easy.

8. Take Grief

Managers that point fingers are weak. When something doesn’t go the way it’s suppose to take the heat and keep your head up, don’t place blame and don’t point fingers it just destroys any respect your associates might have for you.

9. Give Glory

Ahhh your finally the big shot which means you probably worked your buns of steel off and you probably had a few people out there that helped you along the way with your promotions, etc. Now instead of being the same “bask in the glory” manager that you use to despise and work for you can now be a better manager, GIVE THE GLORY to your associates and co-workers. Instead of being willing to take every bit of praise and run with it earn respect from your associates and peers by allowing them to experience the excitement of a job well done.

10. Smile

Sounds ridiculous I know and you hardcore old school managers are thinking how badly you would like to tell me to go screw myself. Smile? Yes, Smile. Nobody wants to give 110% to some raging jackass that can’t remove the stone look from their face, take time to be a little human and smile. Enjoy your position and your team, and remember without a great team you won’t enjoy your position.

Initially I didn’t plan on making this a blog post on Extreme John.com, instead it was going to be a manager tip sheet for managers within Extreme Tan and Smoothies. After putting the sheet together I decided that I might as well write a quick post about it, who knows maybe someone will find it helpful.

Feel free to leave a comment with any additional input or tips for managers or other small business owners.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron

John, Definitely listen and delegate. It may also be good to point out that you MUST BE ORGANIZED. I have done work for quite a few managers that have no idea what is going on, and don’t know where anything is, or when any deadlines are due. That’s a big point for me.. maybe number 11.
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Jenny

Most of the things you mention are suitable not only for managers! The actively listening, smiling, learning are things that most of us should do regardless of the position we are holding within a company. Being a good professional means to be up to date with novelties in your area of expertise and not only. But to keep it to your post, in my opinion a good manager is the one that knows how to teach and to use the power of example.

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Mary

truly said.. all these steps can be helpful in getting elected as a manager too :) .. true story :D

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Brian

I have worked in a multinational company and one of the manager operations was really negative on all the things that was mentioned above. He was really thee most pain in the muscles of the company. he is only receiving lotsa money without doing nothing.

I hate to say this but he should be taken off the program because he lacks effectiveness as a manager.

I learned from one of my colleagues that a good leader should be a motivator rather than a manipulator which is so much the characteristics of my ex boss. He surely was a manipulator.

By the way, nice eye opener article.. :)

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Mattia

The second one, “learn” it’s very important.. and it is never enough..

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Alex

Great points here, John. I just stumbled upon your blog. (not from the website ‘stumble upon’, but isn’t that crazy how it was the first phrase that came to mind?)

An important combination of ‘delegate’ and ‘hold people accountable’ is: trust that your employees are competent. Putting your faith in someone can make a large difference in their performance. If you believe they have things under control, most likely they do have it under control.
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craig

These are all important things a manager must do. I especially agree with number 1 and 10 listen and smile.
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James

excellent points John, too many mangers are very quick at pointing the finger, so I totally agree with number 8 and 10. Number 1 is also a very important.
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Steve at MakingAMillionDollars

John, nice list. I have worked in business for years and have been a manager for over 10 years and think this really hits it on the head. A really good book that talks about what makes a company not Good but Great is the book “Good To Great.” A key Point in the book is that a manager or CEO in this case is approachable and said sometimes the more laid back CEO’s and managers that are more approachable get the great results. That is because their people feel they can be brutally honest with them about real issues and get to the root cause of problems and not just perform dog and pony shoes. Thought this was a great point in the book. That is the only way teams, groups and companies go from good to great.
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Shades

“Give Glory”—allowing them to experience the excitement of a job well done.
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sangalicious1
Twitter:

I really like the “Give the Glory” and “Actively Listen” ahh what the heck all of these are the so crucial. Great Post

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Brianna

I think those things are not just for managers alone, regardless of the position we are occupying, we could certainly apply those 10 great things in order for us to become the best and effective employee we can be. Great post John, very informative.Keep it up!

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rug cleaning ny

Great speech. Most corporations do not understand that emotion is the key motivator and the ones that do understand prey on negative emotions, such as fear. Fear can only accomplish so much and can hinder a company’s progress.

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Ned Carey

Ask Questions – this is a good way to lead as well as to get feedback.

Take Grief – That sounds like “listen to complaints”. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is “Take Responsibility.”
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Quickbooking

You written here that’s true . This is really very useful information given here. Thanks for sharing with us and links.
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kingjones

I appreciate the way you have told us good management techniques.I have visited many a blog but did not get impressed with content creation and information. Thanks for your support and all the information
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Kathy

Being a manager is way harder than you think. I had some experience with it before I became self-employed. I remember how everyone used to think that they were smarter than the boss and that their boss didn’t understand how to be a good manager. I was one of those dolts. Then I became one and realized how smart my old boss was. It is nowhere’s near as easy as it seems. Dealing with subordinates when you are in a position of power is challenging. You have to be careful not to say the wrong things.
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Jones Act Attorney

I really do find this post helpful! As a professional (like manager), it takes more to be a “real” manager. It is a tough responsibility because you have your people to consider. The things you provided (information, techniques and strategies in being a good manager) were valuable in which many of us were enlightened with the “must” true image of a good manager and I guess, it is not only for managers but for other job in which requires good management!

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michal

The ingredient of patience is necessary for the manager. Patience helps you to attain desired goals in your profession.

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Jack

Very true. Especially the two of the: take grief, and share glory. I’ve seen these two in all great people I’ve met, not only managers.

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Hashim

You said the right thing about managers. But now a days it is hard to find managers that knows what you know.

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The Constant Complainer
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As an HR Guy, I applaud your list. You’re very correct. They say that being a manager involves 85% of your time being spent on dealing with and managing personalities. And everything else you have to do is 15% (and that’s a big job for 15%). LOL. But it’s very true.
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Houses in Panama City

A great manager should constantly look for ways to succeed within their positions and grow to be good managers in future positions.

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Tony
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Yes, that is what they should to do but always smile, get stress and something else are what they get from jobs.
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michal

These are management tips and by adopting these tips we can be too proficient in our work. But ” Learning at the top priority ”
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