What qualities make Managers, GREAT Leaders?

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?

  • 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
  • Agile
  • 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!

Oh and how about some wonderful quotes from some of great leaders and some quotes from some great female leaders for a little bit of inspiration?

Also, check out this post from the HERG LIFE Blog – The 3 Most Important Things a Leader Must Do.

Stay Savvy!

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