Who was your best ever manager?
And what was it that made them the best for you at that time?
Best ever managers give us something big to believe in. This is often thought to be the role of leaders, but for many people in organisations those at the top can seem out of sight and out of reach.
Best ever managers make sense of the big picture and in doing so, help their team members feel inspired, connected and able to make a difference.
Best ever managers see us, often before we’re able to see ourselves. They make a conscious effort to understand what drives us, to notice what we respond well to and how we communicate.
They use their intuition and experience to tune-in and then adapt. And they reveal to us things we didn’t know we were capable of.
Best ever managers lead the way by example. They know where they’re going and why they want to get there. They want us to follow and their energy endows us with this desire.
They tell the truth, telling us things that are sometimes uncomfortable to hear but which help us know how to change. And they do so in the service of our own learning rather than to fulfil their own ego needs.
They ask for our opinion, enabling us to offer ideas, experiment and take risks without fear of critical judgement. In shaping our contributions, they show us that what we’ve brought is useful and has moved the conversation on. And so, we contribute again.
Best ever managers understand that managing others is not a means to an end or career move. It’s a privilege that has the potential to make a lasting difference.
So, who was your best ever manager? And what could you do to emulate them with your own team members?