What makes a great Manager?

Joined Oct 28, 1999
I just came out of a very heated "discussion" with my boss. He explained, in a very direct and pointed manner, that in this world there are good managers and there are bad managers. Of course he had difficulty explaining exactly what makes a good manager. So my question is... what makes a good manager? As a manager, what works well for you? What have been some difficulties and how did you overcome them? And if you are not a manager, why do you listen to some managers/bosses and not others? What do you consider a strong leader? What are some of the better things managers have done for you? What are some of the worst things managers do that cause you to not listen to them or do what is asked of you?
I think is important to a lot of us here. We all interface with management, either we report to a manager or are managers ourselves. Thanks!
Joined Feb 11, 2002
Right off the top of my head....a good manager will be willing to do everything their employees do and more....not walking around throwing orders out just to look important but to be an integral part of the team.

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Ditto to the above, plus I think a good manager can see the 'whole picture'. In the martial arts, we call this looking with 'soft eyes' - being able to see what's happening all the time, getting help to those that need it, making sure the kitchen is running like a well oiled clock.

A good manager needs to really listen to his employees; what they need, what their dreams are, what THEY feel their shortcomings are, and try and give them a 'leg up' to help achieve that.

There's a wonderful book out re Charlie Trotter, and his philosophies in the kitchen - "Lessons in Excellence".
Joined Sep 21, 2001
A manager is in the middle. On one side he has employees and on the other the owners. A good manager produces satisfactory results for both sides. To me, a good manager isn't one that can see the "whole picture", but one that can make all involved parties see the "whole picture". Someone who can make the costs and percentages to keep his boss happy, while making sure that the employees are taken care of.
In my experience a few characteristics and skills that good managers have in common:
1. Communication.
2. Facilitation.
3. Advocacy.
4. Empathy
5. Experience.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Since Martial Arts were mentioned, patience,sincerity,humility and honesty are four pretty good virtues to practice to make you a better person all around. I personally don't feel that you can teach someone to be a good manager. Personality is a major factor in management. One must be put in certain situations to experience how he or she will perform, then one can work on and correct things that may need work.
A manager is in the middle, but a owner must have management skills also.
I absolutely don't want to disagree about "a manager should be willing to do what ever their employees do" but I personally feel that a manager should know every aspect and what it takes to do the employees job. Most problems arise when a manager does not know these things. It may take 3 hours for a dishwasher to get the am pots done corr4ectly. If a manager thinks it can be done in 2 ,without having done them, they will loose respect.
just my 2 cents.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
A good manager is/does the following:

* Commands respect without trying. Someone who is clearly in charge but not in an intimidating, obnoxious manner.

* Gives some freedom to employees to spread creative wings (within reason and with approval).

* Someone who undeniably has the employees' best interest at heart.

* Someone who can produce for the company without forsaking #3 above.

* Someone who takes the needs of employees into consideration.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
its pretty easy to get to the nitty gritty with regards to your q.

just get a piece of paper and divide it in 2.

on one side, write: good manager.

on the other, write: bad manager.

then just launch into a "pros and cons" type list, listing the characteristics of your past managers and then look at "good manager" and there you will have it. However, this may reflect your personal feelings, but if you think you are doing right and to the best of your abilities,....
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