Some people see management as a position of power and control. Others see it as an opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire. It’s no secret as to which approach results in the greatest success. A recent report by Gallup estimates that around 75% of employees quit their jobs because of an ill-performing boss or supervisor.

Whether you’re running a large company or leading a small team, it’s up to you to carry the organization’s vision and ensure that it is effectively delivered. Get it right, and you’ll foster a productive group of employees who contribute to outstanding customer experience and a harmonious workplace.

Striving for greatness should be your top priority as the difference you can make in the lives of those around you in your company is immeasurable. Being someone that others want to follow is not only beneficial to your team but will also leave you with a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

So, what does it take to become a successful manager? Here are some key factors to consider.

Communication Skills

Being able to clearly inform employees about the mission and their goals has always been of paramount importance to managers. But, in the digital age where face-to-face encounters are becoming increasingly uncommon, the importance of strong communication skills is greater than ever.

Not only do you need to have a strong grasp of interacting effectively in person but also through digital mediums such as email, video, and phone. You should also be able to tell a story. Not in a faux manner but in a way that explains the background and puts things into context. If you don’t do it, someone else will create the story for you.

Goal Setting

Your employees need something to work towards. Not only will you set realistic goals to give them direction and purpose, but it will also ensure that your team is working towards the overall goals of your business. A successful manager can set specific and measurable goals with enticing incentives. You should also take the time to monitor your team’s progress.


If you know how to do something the right way, you can avoid the countless mistakes that come with being misinformed. From correctly interpreting financial statements to developing effective marketing plans to determining where an employee’s talents are best allocated, these crucial tasks can’t be done right without the necessary know-how.

The good news is that these days, educating yourself on the fundamentals of successful management doesn’t require a trip back to school. For instance, these online business courses the UK offer management degrees that will teach you a number of key skills, including technical, analytical, presentation, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

Giving Recognition

There’s nothing worse than going the extra mile and giving it your best only to have your efforts go unnoticed. Giving recognition to those who put the most effort into their work will provide an incentive to carry on pushing hard while also showing the slackers what they’re missing out on. There are many ways to show your appreciation.

Being Able to Listen

You can set the clearest objectives, give the most motivational speeches and tell the most inspiring stories, but your efforts will be quickly undone if you don’t know how to listen. Leadership is, above all, a people’s job. So, when an employee wants to speak, your first priority should be to set aside the time to listen to what they have to say.

Giving your team a platform to share their thoughts and opinions will not only make them feel better, but it also has the potential to reveal valuable information. This can include an innovative solution to a current problem, a useful new idea or even a problem that one employee has that could have resulted in them leaving had you not listened.

In a similar light, you should avoid being the elusive manager who only goes to high-power, corporate meetings. How you relate to your employees will determine how they react to you. Be sure to hold frequent meetings with employees as well as one-on-one sessions with individual team members. What you’ll learn will make it all the more worthwhile.

Taking Responsibility

When a deadline is missed, a customer is unsatisfied or a project doesn’t go to plan, it’s easy to blame whoever might have played a small part in causing the problem whether or not they even intended to.

It’s a common tactic that managers make the mistake of using. Instead, be the first to assume responsibility for missed targets. This will give your employees another reason to stand up for you and respect you moving forward.

Hiring Skills

Of course, your efforts in fostering an effective team are all but wasted if who you chose isn’t qualified for the job, to begin with. But hiring the wrong people is a common mistake and for many reasons. For instance, it can be tempting to hire like-minded individuals or those that are similar to your current team members.

However, it’s important to have a team with complementary skills. One that’s too homogenous might have a good time, but they will struggle when it comes to getting the job done right. You should also avoid feeling threatened by those who have more experience or qualifications. What they bring to the table could prove extremely valuable.

Championing Positivity

The last thing you want to turn your work environment into is a monotonous grid of cubicles, populated by unmotivated drones. There’s no doubt that work is something that needs to be taken seriously. You have deadlines to meet, customers to satisfy and targets to reach. But, in order to do any of this, your employees need to be in a good mood.

Positivity is key to productivity and motivation. Focus on making the workplace a positive, high-energy environment where employees enjoy what they do and are engaged in their own success. Be the reason that your employees love their work, and keep striving to achieve more.

Being a successful manager doesn’t require putting in an 80-hour workweek or sacrificing your own wellbeing. Remember that your employees and their performance are reflective of your own. Keep this in mind, and you’ll quickly learn how to lead effectively.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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