In my 20 + years being an Executive Assistant, I’ve had many types of Managers. The bad ones: Demanding, Ego-Maniacs, fake, spineless, Can’t make a Decision to save their lives, horrible communicators and terrible with confrontation. The good ones: Respectful, Caring, empathetic, motivating, always had their employees backs, advocated for them, etc.
Working for a respected Leader/Manager is important to most. When there is respect, there is loyalty. The saying that people don’t quit companies, they quit managers is so true.
I’ve compiled a list of great qualities that I look for in a leader, it’s a huge list, and of course you won’t find all of these qualities in one person, but what 3 would you chose?what do you look for in a good leader?
- COMMUNICATES EFFECTIVELY
- Results Driven
- Drives Clarity and alignment with other teams
- Customer Obsessed
- Takes Ownership – doesn’t throw their people under the bus so to speak, admits when they are wrong.
- Delegates – Gives Control, has trust in their people
- Seeks for and Gives genuine feedback
- Displays Confidence – Operates with Discipline and has Positive focus
- Is Self Aware – Demonstrates Emotional Intelligence
- Patient, accepts the fact that we are all human and sometimes mistakes are made
- High Integrity – Is transparent and truthful
- Innovative and Creative
- Always wants to Learn and encourages their people to keep learning.
- Drives Collaborative behavior
- Fosters a Mutual Respect
- Has a Clear Vision – plans strategically and communicates their vision to everyone
- Is willing to take Risks, can be provocative and challenge the norm.
- Longevity – Is in this for the long haul
- Holds EVERYONE Accountable – not just their team, they hold their Managers, their Manager’s Manager, etc.
- Can Handle Conflict – not just brush it under the rug for it to fester.
- Culture Driven – Adapts to the Company/Team Culture
- Work & Life Synergy
- Inspires others
- Has a sense of purpose, is Altruistic
These are just a few examples that I’ve collected, there are a lot out there. Remember, when you are interviewing for roles, use some of these examples to weed out the Managers that don’t fall into the Great Leader category
On a personal note, I am 3 months into my new role here at Microsoft, all I can say is wow I am lucky. I’ve landed with a female leader who is smart, puts her people first, challenges the leadership, holds her leads accountable, says what she thinks without alienating people and is fully inclusive. After I left Staffing, I didn’t think I would ever find a female Exec and Leader that was a great as her, she was amazing and I know she’s thriving at her new company down in Portland and her people sure are lucky! ;).
Own your career and find your ideal leader!
Also, check out this post from the HERG LIFE Blog – The 3 Most Important Things a Leader Must Do.