Effective Management: 7 Characteristics of Effective Managers and Leaders

By Igshaan Soules

What makes good managers and leaders effective … exceptional? Effective managers and leaders have the ability to set a clear direction, create alignment and nurture an unwavering commitment to a productive and positive work environment. But, what will make them exceptional. Following is a list of seven characteristics (behaviours, attitudes or orientations) that makes effective managers and leaders, exceptional.

Characteristic #1: Self-awareness.
Exceptional managers and leaders know who they are and what their unique talents and strengths are. They also have a keen understanding of what their development gaps are and how to bridge these gaps through training and development. More importantly, they know to leverage their unique talents and strengths as creative forces at work and in life.

Characteristic #2. Being Enrolling.
Effective managers and leaders have the ability to generate a tremendous amount of excitement, enthusiasm and engagement amongst employees and colleagues for assignments, tasks and problems solving activities. Others are naturally drawn to what they stand for, their ideas, their vision and the kind of organisational culture they want to nurture.

Characteristic #3. The Ability To View People As Resourceful.
When managers and leaders operate from this stance, they hold the assumption of competence towards employees and peers. In this orientation managers and leaders have the belief that each employee has something of value to contribute to the organization.  They invite employees, colleagues and teams to harness their creativity and diversity of ideas to contribute to solving organizational challenges and problems. The result is increased productivity and positivity within teams and the organisation as a whole.

Characteristic #4. The Ability To Nurture Talent.
Effective managers and leaders are good coaches. They are drawn to the potential of others and the possibilities this holds for both the organisation and the individual. As such they have the ability to tap into, and nurture the talent and innate potential of others through insightful questions, effective listening, acknowledgement and by giving them challenging assignments.

Characteristic #5. They Value Purposeful Execution And Implementation.
They understand that the results they achieve do not depend on the merits of a well-defined strategy, but the soundness of its execution. The recognise that the best strategic goals cannot survive poor execution and that success is 10% vision and 90% execution.

Characteristic #6. They Consistently Exceed Expectations
Effective managers and leaders who excel, understand that superior performance is never the by-product of ordinary efforts. They appreciate the value of going the extra mile and have the ability to elicit behaviour that goes beyond the call of duty.

Characteristic #7. They Enjoy Their Life’s Journey
The phrase “work hard and play hard” is the essence of this management and leadership characteristic. Exceptional managers and leaders know everything counts, including having fun. They view having fun, being playful and having a regular spirited belly laughter as good for maintaining good mental and physical health. Laughter, love and positivity help us heal – it creates a sense of happiness. They understand that distressing emotions and humour cannot occupy the same psychological space.

To be an effective manager or leader, constantly challenge yourself to be exceptional. Make better quality decisions, make better plans, execute better – whatever you do, hold excellence as a standard in all that you do. Being exceptional allows you to stand tall and above those who are simply good.

Effective managers and leaders who are exceptional succeed more, advance faster and live richer lives.

Bottom line. If you want to break through the functional glass ceiling and excel in your career, become exceptional at what you do.


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