Bringing Your A-Game To A Manager Role

My guess is that for every good manager you’ve had, you’ve had 2 bad ones.  Now you’re a manager and you’re committed to being great at it. You remember the things that your favorite and worst managers have done and are going to use your learning to be effective.  Or perhaps you’ve been a manager for some time and you just want to be… better. Here are some things that I’ve learned from my experience, readings and from Mitzi Short, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant.

  1. To be a great manager, you have to WANT to be a manager.  It’s just like anything else; if you want it, you’ll work hard at it. I suggest you work on the following skills on your journey to being a great manager:

  • Communication

  • Collaboration/Teamwork

  • Organization

  • Decision-making

  • Mediation


  1. You’re dealing with people.  Remember to treat your direct reports as you’d like to be treated.  I’m sure you like to be heard, treated fairly and to understand why and how your work matters.   Treat your team accordingly.  I’m sure that you also don’t appreciate a condescending tone or being thrown under a bus.  Guess what? Your direct reports won’t appreciate it either.  Again, treat your team accordingly.

  2. Set an example. It works at home and it works in the workplace too.  Your team will follow your lead over time.  If you want a team that’s hard-working and committed, you be hard-working and committed.  In time, your team WILL mirror your behavior.

  3. I’d like to paraphrase the words of former 1stLady Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.”  Said differently, take the high road.  Some employees like being negative.  You’re bound to have at least one of them.  Be disciplined about being optimistic, yet honest and pragmatic. 

  4. Be someone that your team WANTS to follow.  Be credible. Be accountable.  Share your vision.  Communicate directly and effectively.  Advocate for your team.   Commit to employee development.  Pursue and encourage feedback/input.  Be emotionally solid.  And, finally, be in command without being a tyrant.  Who WOULDN’T want to follow a manager like this?


Well, that’s it.  Remember that you can’t control how your direct reports will behave but you can control YOUR behavior as their manager. Take it one day at a time.  Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes.  Be committed to being the best manager you can be.


Dame Arnisha


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