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Managers shape the culture of their organizations and team. According to the Wall Street Journal, a manager has five basic tasks when it comes to leading a team:
There's a distinction between a good manager and great manager, but it's rarely defined. In fact, many managers can be found in the gray, average area. So, what separates the good from the great when it comes to team management?
Good managers perpetuate working culture while great managers strive to keep teams engaged. Many old school values behind management rely on the notion of completing projects on time and with little to no roadblocks. Times have changed. Especially in a pandemic, it may be difficult to meet deliverables. A great manager knows that reaching that finish line means helping team members feel empowered in their work. Once they feel engaged, the urge to complete a task will come organically.
Good managers are give feedback and hardly take feedback. While great managers, not only accept and give feedback but encourage team members to promote a culture of feedback among their cohorts. As a manager, your title doesn't allow you to be out of reach from feedback. In fact, great managers are excited to hear new ways to improve and eager to promote peer feedback among team members.
Good managers tolerate peers with different or even clashing personalities. Great managers learn how to tailor their management styles to best accommodate their teams. The fact of the matter is that you won't get along with everyone, and that's A-OK. But as a manager, it's your job to meet your team members half way so they feel supported and empowered to do their jobs. Essentially, not throwing the towel when it comes to developing their growth mindset.
On the surface, the responsibilities of a people manager may seem to be all about you. But in reality, being a successful manager isn’t at all about you, your performance, or your projects — it’s about your team. When you leverage your skills and abilities when it comes to being an effective manager, your team will thrive.
Successful, empowering, and effective managers strive for a workplace and team culture that uplifts and inspires their team members to reach for the stars. Good manager on the other hand, don't. If you're stepping into a manager position, remember it all boils down to a simple mantra: Always strive for improvement.