The 5 Qualities That All Great Managers Have in Common


There really isn’t one way to be a superior leader. Great leadership is more art than science. If you look at the great leaders, the ones who succeed over the long term, despite the inevitable bumps and setbacks, you’ll see that they all have the following in common:

1. Transparency

A truly great manager doesn’t keep secrets from his people. If there’s good news they share it. If it’s bad news they don’t sugarcoat it. And either way they’ll always keep you apprised of their plans.

2. Emotional Maturity


We’ve all had experiences with colleagues who have zero sense of the feelings of the people around them. Maybe they’re mean to the intern or get all huffy when you’d rather work than chat. This kind of thing is hard enough to deal with when a peer does it, but if it’s your boss it can be downright toxic. A great manager is considerate of other peoples’ feelings. Of course they’re not there to be your bestie. But they understand how much better it is for everybody when a manager demonstrates a little tact, patience and empathy.

3. Flexibility


The “my way or the highway” types tend to micromanage, which makes them feel in control but makes their employees miserable. A great manager understands that there can be many ways to achieve the same result—and is willing to listen to other points of view.

4. Honesty


A great manager shares the credit and the blame. When things are going well, they let their own bosses know it’s been a team effort. And when things are going badly—which happens to everybody at some point—a great manager knows how to own up to her or her mistakes.

5. Competence

This seems like an obvious one: a great manager is great at his or her job. But often people wangle management positions with people skills or connections. That’s fine, but if your manager doesn’t know what he or she is talking about, you can pretty much guarantee there’s going to be serious problems. So it’s important to remember: a great manager really knows his or her stuff.