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Key characteristics of a great manager

Managing employees is one of the most feared and rewarding aspects of running a business. Everyone has horror stories of nightmare managers and their manic tendencies that drove them crazy. Additionally, most business owners have experienced the pain of managing employees who are simply unwilling to change or take responsibility for their actions.

Creating managerial positions can be troubling for small business owners who are reluctant to let go of running the day-to-day operation of the business.

But make no mistake: the role of a manager is an essential position within your greater organizational strategy. It's part of a larger philosophy around strategic management.

Managers are the nexus where people and systems come together to produce results. Without effective managers to lead and organize the work of the business, the technicians in the organization will have no direction, and you, the business owner, will never have the time to fulfill your role as the entrepreneurial leader of the company.

So what qualities should you look for in a manager? Well, we have some thoughts on that of course!

Characteristics of a great manager

Systemic thinking

When problems occur in the workplace, we have a tendency to first blame the people involved.  

But from the E-Myth perspective, the real solution to workplace frustrations comes from identifying the underlying system failure and then finding the system solution.

When the focus is placed on finding a solution by developing or improving systems you are able to eliminate the need to blame someone for the problem and move swiftly towards a solution that not only resolves the immediate problem but future instances as well. We call this process

The Key Frustrations Process.  It's part of our coaching programs and we regularly give online training seminars about how to put it to work in your business.

systems development guide

One of the primary skills of an EMyth manager is that of systemic thinking. It is the manager’s responsibility to think about problems systemically, to focus on the core issues and create new systems or improve existing systems. A manager should be driving The Key Frustrations Process in your business.

Fairness and objectivity

The job of manager is to create an environment where people feel safe.  Employees can learn and stretch, take pride in owning their responsibilities, and feel motivated to grow and contribute. This is a key way to improve employee engagement.

Choose a manager who will consciously demonstrate the behavior that will have the most positive effect on your employees. An E-Myth manager must earn the respect of their employees by having the ability to look at issues from alternative perspectives. If employees feel that their ideas are not being listened to and considered, they will simply stop making the effort. 

Willingness to listen

An EMyth manager is a great listener. They create calm environments, free of distraction and interruption for employees to bring up issues, commit to solutions, and seek assistance.

Managers must listen with the sole purpose of understanding. Often time constraints and workloads are convenient means for managers to bypass the listening process and get directly to a solution.

In the moment this feels like you have solved the problem, but in reality the employee leaves feeling confused and grows emotionally detached from the problem, choosing to not care instead. 

Alternatively, if the manager takes time to listen before offering any solutions, the employee has a totally different experience and will proactively seek ways to resolve the issue. 

The key to active listening is making the person feel that they have been heard. 

Ideally you’ll find a manager that embodies the characteristics of systemic thinking, fairness, and a willingness to listen.

It is that kind of manager that will create a more productive and motivating work environment.

If you have any more questions about how to solve choke points in your business, download our Key Frustrations Process guide or schedule a free session with us.

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EMyth Team

Written by EMyth Team

We share free resources and stories from our clients, Coaches and team members about how to build a business that serves your life. Our posts will give you updates on our business insights and free educational content.