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  • Writer's picturejana tulloch

What Great Managers Do Differently

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

They Allow Autonomy

Great managers don’t micromanage; they allow team members to run with ideas and work things out in their own way. This goes a long way in helping employees own their tasks, take pride in what they do, and learn.

They Listen First

They listen first and talk second. Great leaders abide by Habit #5 of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Seek first to understand then to be understood”. Many of us don’t listen as often as we should: we have our own ideas and perspectives and want to make sure we are heard, and that our opinions are presented and, in some cases, defended. But so does everyone else. Being a leader requires us to not make assumptions, to actively listen to others, and to form our thoughts and words in response to what someone is saying, not while they are saying it.

They Show Care

Great managers care about the people who work for them. They check-in regularly with their employees, provide support and help reduce barriers and frustrations. They involve and listen to the needs of their people when implementing new solutions.

Can you become a great manager?:

Of course! It’s not a question of "can" but rather "how". How we become great managers can be found hidden in small but impactful details such as Leading by example. Leading by example is modelling the behaviors you want to see in others. Leaders also need to inspire, and learning how to create inspiration in your team is key to motivating them to achieve far greater than their expectations. Being able to inspire your team will create momentum that fuels performance and engagement. If leading feels like a chore, your team will feel like they are a burden: great leadership needs to be passion-driven and something that puts the team first.

Are great managers born or made?:

As we are all managers in the sense that we have to manage tasks, time and costs in our own lives then it is sensible to claim that great managers are made. Once you become a great manager of your own life you become a great Leader for other people's lives. You can learn how to become a great manager of your own life by visiting Tony Robbins' article on 5 Life Management Skills to Achieve Success.

How great managers motivate their employees?

In order to motivate employees, great managers must first begin to understand what motivates them. A financial incentive is not always the answer. Each individual team member will have different interests and motivations. Then it is the Leaders responsibility to understand the motivations of the team. This will differ between extrinsic motivations (placing emphasis on the workplace being a team effort) and intrinsic motivations (is the team member reaching personal goals they set to achieve). Yet the most effective motivation is being a Great and Inspiring Leader, where employees are able to take an example and have a desire to achieve just as their leader achieves.


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