Good manager vs great manager

Good Manager vs. Great Manager. What does it take to cross the chasm?

A manager’s role is to help their team achieve their objectives and ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. A good manager typically:

  • Sets clear goals and strategies for the team and ensures that everyone knows what they need to do to help reach these goals
  • Gets involved in daily operations, if necessary, to make sure everything runs smoothly
  • Provides support and guidance when needed but also allows staff to take responsibility for their own actions
  • Encourages creativity and innovation while also enforcing standards and discipline when needed
  • Is understanding and supportive of individuals, but also takes proactive steps to address any problems
But most of us want to go from Good to Great, and, as an individual, you will not settle for having a good manager. You would want to work for a great manager. If you have worked with different people in your career, you can start to differentiate between the Good and Great Managers you would have worked with.

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Let’s do a little exercise, close your eyes (it goes without saying that you are not driving or doing something where closing your eyes would be dangerous :)). Think about all the managers you have worked with and pick the one you had the best experience with. In your mind, start listing down the things that made you have the “best experience.”

Typically, working with a great manager feels something like this:

  • They make you feel good about yourself as an individual and a professional
  • You don’t have to think before you speak about what’s on your mind with them
  • You know someone is looking out for you when it comes to your concerns, growth, and needs
So, there is clearly something that a great manager is doing, but a good manager is not doing. So what is it? What makes a manager good to great? There are ten traits that separate great managers from good managers. Read here for more.

One of the significant differences usually not discussed is the degree of authenticity that a manager demonstrates while working with their teams.

Authentic leadership has been defined in many ways, but at its core, it is leading with integrity and being true to yourself and your values. Managers who follow this leadership style are not afraid to be themselves, even if it means being different from the rest of the pack. Authentic leaders are often seen as more trustworthy and effective than traditional leaders, and they are also more likely to inspire others to be their best selves. Authentic leaders are also committed to making a positive difference in the world. They want to make a difference not just for themselves but for others as well. 

Moreover, the greats can easily differentiate between aggressive demeanor and assertive demeanor. They can emphatically put across their point without being aggressive or making someone feel threatened in any way.

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Assertive managers can express their opinions and feelings without putting down or insulting the other person. They can also listen to and respect the point of view of others, even if there is a disagreement. Assertiveness can help you build better relationships, resolve conflicts, and get what you want at work. Being assertive can help you in

  • Building better relationships
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Building and maintaining boundaries
  • Getting what you want
If you wish to know more about the benefits of being assertive and how to master assertiveness, read more here.

In essence, going from good to great is a journey for any manager. You will fall, trip, get up, and go again in this process. One thing you must do is just keep going. Seek help where ever you require it in this journey. When you reach the magic land of being a great manager, your professional life will become even more fulfilling.

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