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Twelve Must-Have Attributes for Good Managers

publication date: Sep 9, 2012
author/source: William P. Fisher, Ph.D.

E's of Management

By William P. Fisher, Ph.D.
August 2012

The attributes, virtues, and characteristics of successful managers have been researched by many people over the years. What has been determined with certainty is that there is no fixed combination of elements that ensure management success. Nonetheless, there are some important attributes, the absence of which make it difficult to be an effective supervisor. I call them the Twelve Es.

Twelve Must-Have Attributes for Good Managers

Enthusiasm. It helps to exude enthusiasm both in persona (a love of life) and for the mission and objectives of one’s organization, function, and tasks at hand. Your enthusiasm can be contagious. If you are not enthusiastic, ennui can take hold in your subordinates and that can lead to mediocrity - or worse.

Energy. It’s closely aligned with enthusiasm as it connotes movement, action, passion, and spirit. Self-starters are usually strong finishers. Energy is the personal electric current you infuse in the workplace.

Excellence. You establish or exceed current standards of performance for yourself and for others in pursuit of overall organizational excellence. You are politely but directly demanding of continuous professional and organizational improvement in search of perfection.

Example. You are a role model for your colleagues at all levels of the organization. Others look to you, wanting to give you one of their most cherished possessions: trust. Never besmirch your credibility, for if a supervisor loses the trust of subordinates, there is nothing left.

Empathy. You place humanitarianism well ahead of materialism, people before artifacts, values before judgments, thought before action, and reason before decisions. Accordingly, you have the ability to step outside your own mind and into the minds of others, thereby seeing and understanding their perspective, feeling their emotions, and relating to their activities.

Effectiveness. You know what you do makes a difference. You set or help set a direction toward an attitude and usually a sustainable goal and you get results. Your work service and/or work product reflect your knowledge, skills, talents, and creativity, all devoted toward noticeable accomplishment.

Efficiency. You maintain the most important commodity in your life: time. You also optimize your output, starting with the input and carefully managing the throughput. You minimize waste, synergize resources, and symbolize dynamism.

Empowerment. As you possess authority, there is a certain power that attaches to your role. You have the ability to empower others to do things, by delegation, motivation, inspiration, or direction. One doesn’t abuse power, one uses it to serve others in fulfilling the organizational mission.

Essentiality. In relationships with people, you appraise them by both word and action that you regard them as absolutely essential to the success of your organization. If they are not essential, they wouldn’t be with you.

Esteem. You possess self-esteem and draw the attention of others. Esteem rests on the four cornerstones of management: integrity, character, self-confidence, and self-respect. You place your greatest satisfaction in self-measurement, conduct yourself with poise and dignity, and have a high quality of life competence as well as specific expertise.

Equilibrium. With all the stimuli directed to you and all the stimuli you issue, you maintain a stable balance in your intellectual, personal, professional, and physical life. You are in control, in shape, unflappable, fair, rational, caring, alert, forward-thinking, responsible, and determined.

Education. You value education and training, recognizing that development for you and your subordinates is a journey, not a destination. If you ever doubt the value of continuing education ad training, consider the cost of ignorance.



Reprinted with permission from Cayuga Hospitality Review.  All rights reserved.

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