William Gooderson’s 8 Characteristics of Good Managers
Finding good managers is one thing, but training them to be the best is another. In the second half of his talk at the Beyond Workforce Success Conference on the Gold Coast last June, William Gooderson outlined eight characteristics that good managers in any industry should have. Hint: age is not one of them! Gooderson shares that […]
26 September 2018 |
Finding good managers is one thing, but training them to be the best is another. In the second half of his talk at the Beyond Workforce Success Conference on the Gold Coast last June, William Gooderson outlined eight characteristics that good managers in any industry should have. Hint: age is not one of them! Gooderson shares that he has met managers who had been in their industry for decades, but had no leadership capabilities to speak of. Managers who are in their position because they’re not needed or wanted elsewhere are the most difficult. Of an erring army commander, Gooderson remarks: “He trundled along for 20 years getting promotions, because organizations allow that to happen.” Read more: From Battlefields to Boardrooms: Finding Good Managers with William Gooderson The lack of screening and training results in managers who have some experience, but not the kind that enables them to make great decisions. When it comes to decision-making, the key is not years spent in an industry, but the amount of reflection done during those years. Besides being able to reflect on their experience, managers should also be trained to: 1. Know how to delegate properly Good managers know they cannot do everything by themselves. Being everywhere at once is impossible, and micro-management often leads to failure. “You have to be able to rely on your managers to look after you, to support you, to deliver the mission, and to look after their guys,” Gooderson says. This is why delegating is a skill that should be learned right off the bat. 2. Communicate well on all fronts A good manager needs to be able to communicate your vision for the business, but should also be able to listen to the team. Being approachable is key to leading well. Approachable managers understand what the team is doing. “If they’re not engaged,” Gooderson asks, “How on earth are they going to work effectively together?” 3. Inspire trust among his or her staff Employees need to be able to trust that a manager is telling them to do something for the right reasons. Inspiring trust in employees requires leading from the front. Showing them how it’s done is always better than telling them. And at the end of the day, they need to be able to trust that you have their best interests at heart. 4. Remain optimistic in the face of adversity Bad days will come, and you cannot afford to lose morale. Even one disheartened employee can bring the whole team down. Good managers know how to keep morale up, even when they themselves have doubts. Optimism, like any other leadership skill, can be trained into your management candidates. 5. Have empathy for those they lead For a manager to be effective, he or she must be able to relate to employees. He or she must understand the challenges they face, and be able to address them in a manner that helps them perform better. A great piece of advice for most situations is to praise in public, but criticize in private. 6. Hold themselves accountable Good managers always step up to the plate, simply because it’s their job. They don’t do it for any recognition, or treat it as anything out of the ordinary. One way to train your managers for accountability is to give them hypothetical situations in your industry, to see how they would react. The bottom line when it comes to accountability is to own both successes and failures. 7. Have the confidence to do the right thing Confidence is contagious, according to Gooderson. A manager who shows confidence in the company, in the people, and in the work, will have a greater impact than they can imagine. The best manifestation of this confidence is being able to do the right thing, especially during the most difficult situations. 8. Be inspirational because of who they are Once again, leading from the front makes a difference because it translates words into action. Any manager can say one thing, but do another. A good manager is able to exemplify the best the company has to offer, and in doing so, inspire others to follow suit. Gooderson ends his talk with a Richard Branson quote: “Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” In the end, the most important asset of any business is its people. “Industries spend less money on training its leaders than it does on any other area of development,” Gooderson laments. That fact needs to change, and investing in training managers to have these eight characteristics would be a great start. Ready to find out what Tanda can do for your business? Book a demo today.