Want to be a Good Manager? Be Predictable

Posted January 11, 2016 - Revised January 11, 2016

People like Steve Jobs, Anna Wintour and Elon Musk have made it easy to see the manager as a tough-as-nails leader, driven by a vision that no one else can see.

However, many business experts say the best managers are those you don't notice. These managers facilitate, interact and respond to their team in a way that can be almost invisible.

There is a template for this type of executive as well. President Thomas Jefferson was known for exercising his influence in private backroom conversations, as much as at the pulpit. President Lyndon Johnson was also known for his ability to make deals with Congressmen, rather than his capacity to rally the country with rousing speeches.

This type of leader may not be as celebrated as the driven visionary, but they can be just as, if not more, effective.

Embrace maturity

Being an effective manager means being emotionally mature. Steve Jobs was known for berating engineers and flying off the handle at a moment's notice. However, Jobs had his volatile temper offset by world-class intelligence and intuition, which most people don't possess.

The best managers strive to be steady, flexible, contemplative and deliberate. They aren't rocked by mistakes or a massive influx of work. As a front-line employee, you may have had to keep your emotions in check, but as a supervisor - you have the emotional states of those underneath you need to be worried about. It is much easier to keep your employees focused and driven if you aren’t constantly locking yourself in a glass case of emotion.

Being mature also means having a high personal standard for integrity. Your employees will be less likely to accept you as their leader if you're hypocritical or can’t be trusted. By being predictable and reliable, your employees will see you as someone they should follow.

Adopting a different skill set

Many people find their way into a management position by performing technical, creative, or task-based duties well. However, being an effective manager requires completely different skill sets.

Instead of focusing on achieving a goal or interacting with clients, you must pay attention to how resources are allocated and the performances of your employees. You must be able to connect with your employees, with an eye toward maximizing both their productivity and job satisfaction.

Organizations, as a whole, also need to recognize that management requires a different skill set than the ones used to perform duties effectively. Indeed, the best potential managers may not be the superstar charismatic salesperson or the weird genius software engineer. They're also not the people constantly surrounded by workplace drama or those always looking to take credit for the work of others. The best managers are often those who are rock-steady, predictable and maybe even a bit boring.

At Ambassador, one of the leading employment firms in the South, we have access to a wide array of the area's top local talent. If your organization is looking for predictable, steady employees with management potential - contact us today!