Musthafa Ebadi
5 Must Have Qualities of Successful Managers
by Musthafa Ebadi on January 30th, 2014

We live in a world that is constantly changing. The mindset and attitude of workforce today is vastly different than that of their predecessors. Its necessary the qualities and characteristics of the managers who are going to be leading this workforce change too.  The ever changing technology is playing an instrumental role to compound the rate of change.   This means that just because managers were successful in the past doesn’t mean they will be successful in the future.

To ensure that today's managers are effective and contributing to the progress and growth of the companies they work for here are the five qualities that today's managers should demonstrate.

1. Engage & Empower People:

The days of leading by fear, intimidation, and control are over for sometime now. I strongly believe that in order for today's manager to be successful they can no longer bank on making their employees work hard and themselves reaping the benefits. Todays managers should be all about removing roadblocks from the paths of employees in order to help them succeed. Managers should have empowering and engaging their people engraved in their DNA. Managers should work shoulder to shoulder with their employees, engage them in decisions, and empower them to make their own decisions. After all employees are the most valuable asset of any organization, and when engaged properly and empowered sufficiently they are your competitive edge. Why is Google's the #1 company in the world?

2. Understand Technology:

I have been in IT management for over 14 years, and although I have a technical background I cannot troubleshoot properly a server, switch, or even a workstation. I often joke that even though I am very successful as an  IT manager I cannot tell the difference between a router and a switch - I can but it’s a good ice breaker.
 Managers today should have a grasp of how technology works, what are the latest technology platforms and applications in your environment, & the landscape that your people work in. You should have a good pulse on whats happening on the web, be engaged in social media, and have an understanding of various technologies in your field.  Managers who have a good understanding of what is happening with technology will always be able to adapt and evolve ahead of the competition.

3. Lead by Example:

It used to be good enough for managers to say they supported something. A manager would just need to approve something yet have no understanding of how the work was done. Today's managers need to be  the ones on the ground level using the same tools, processes, and workflows that the rest of the employees are using. There is no way that employees can change and evolve (nor should they) unless they see their managers doing the same.

4. Encourage Mistakes & Failures:

All of us want to do a good job everyday we go to work. We all  have tons of ideas on how to make our work place better. Our employees are no different.  All of them have many ideas regarding how to do things better, a new service, a new product etc. Google tapped in this human capital and majority of products and services they offer today initiated from employees.  Unfortunatley manage employees are afraid to make mistakes or fail as they believe it invites the wrath of their superiors. I believe managers should not only allow mistakes they should encourage it. Not only will your people come up with better ways to do things and offer to your customers they will also learn from their mistakes. They will be more engaged and if their ideas are implemented it gives them a sense of pride and ownership in the company.
Go ahead and encourage failures and mistakes however be cognizant that they are not repeated or catastrophic.

5. Belief in Sharing:

Traditionally, managers sat at the top of the organization and had access to all of the information required to make decisions. Managers would dole out the orders and the employees had to execute on those orders without asking any questions. Today, managers cannot believe in hoarding information but in sharing information and collective intelligence. Managers need to make sure that the employees can connect to each other and to the information they need to get their jobs done, any time, anywhere, and on any device. Managers now rely on employees to help make decisions instead of isolating them from this process.

The landscape to be a successful manager has changed, and you either adopt  to be successful or you will become extinct. 

Feel free to agree, disagree, or share your perspective using the comment section of this post. 

Thanks for reading! 

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