The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

Positive Lessons

Last week I mentioned some of the characteristics of a poor manager. This week I wanted to focus on the positive and examine some of the lessons I’ve learned from good managers.

Over the years I’ve had a lot of managers. When working for large corporations, there are always periods of flux where things change quickly. There have been times in my life that the organization I was working for changed so frequently that I reported to fourteen – 14! – different managers over an 18-month period. Needless to say, that was a stressful period in my work life.

canstockphoto14993420But I’ve had some great managers over the last 30 years.

A great manager assigns work and then leaves you to it. It’s appropriate to have a deadline and expect regular updates but they leave the method for completing the task to you.

If you’re in middle management, odds are you have other managers or staff that report to you. So long as no company policies are being broken, how you manage your staff is not something a good manager gets involved in – they let you assign tasks and delegate as you see fit.

A great manager acts as a sounding board and is truly open to listening to alternate opinions or even disagreements. They don’t take it personally and they allow their staff to vent concerns without holding it against them. They work together with their staff to determine the best approach and everyone agrees to a direction even if they have a differing opinion.

These are all aspects I’ve tried to use in my own role as a manager. During my career, knowing that my boss trusted me to get the work done left me happy and motivated. I’ve tried to treat my staff the same way.

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