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What Great Managers Do
by Duncan Brodie

Management is hugely varied and demanding. From the outside looking in, it looks really easy. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. What is it that great managers do?

1. Set objectives

A key role of any manager is to set objectives. Objectives are outcomes that are to be achieved. Part of the role of the manager is to show precisely what is to be delivered and how it is to be measured.

Objectives need to be aligned to the bigger organisational agenda and translated into personal objectives for team members.

2. Organise

Managers need to be highly organised themselves. They also need to ensure that they:

* Put in place structures and roles

* Allocate work appropriately between different team members

* Plan work processes so that things do not grind to a halt

3. Take responsibility

As a manager you need to take 100% responsibility for results that are achieved or are not achieved. It can sometimes be tempting to look to apportion blame elsewhere when things go off track. This strategy will not win you friends or supporters.

4. Monitor

In the early days of being a manager, it is all too easy to set things in motion but fail to appropriately monitor. Don't fall into this trap. Make a point of having review points along the way so that there is an opportunity to adjust if things are not going quite as expected.

5. Take decisions

People may not always agree with all of your decisions but they will be even less satisfied if you don't take decisions. Procrastinating raises doubt in your ability and self belief. If you want to succeed as a manager, take decisions and give yourself permission to get a fair number of them wrong.

6. Communicate

Communication is often a major challenge. Managers often neglect this area. Sometimes they will do lots of one way communication (telling). One area of communication that is easy to neglect is listening. Yet by listening, you can find out so much.

7. Delegate

Delegation in my experience is one of the areas that many managers struggle with. Yet is you want to really excel as a manager you need to be ready to let go and get results through others.

8. Support

Team members feel most valued when you take the time to provide them with support and encouragement. Supporting staff goes a long way to creating an effective team.

9. Motivate

Your role as a manager involves you getting results through others. The only way to do this is by having a motivated group of people around you. When motivated, people who will go the extra mile to deliver results. They do this because you inspire them, praise them and reward their efforts.

10. Develop others

Developing others is a major part of your role as a manager. Not only is it hugely rewarding for you, it helps improve performance and deliver outstanding results for the business. If this happens it is a win-win outcome.

While management is hugely challenging and varied, doing some simple things can make you one of the best.

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
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