Elements of Successful Senior Manager

It is very hard to stereotype the basis for a successful senior manager. In addition to a good work ethic like working hard, perseverance, etc there are 4 recurring themes:

i) applied curiosity (question everything
"...they want to know how things work, and wonder how they can make it work better. They're curious about people and their back stories. And rather than wonder if they are on the right career path, they make the most of whatever path they're on, ringing lessons from all their experiences..."
Adam Bryant, 2017

They are keen learners; with good listening skills, generosity, humility, audacity, accountability, imagination, etc
"...need humility to know what they don't know, but have the confidence to make a decision amid ambiguity..."
Adam Bryant, 2017

They are savvy about company politics, and have the skills to understand the bigger picture.

They are creative.

ii) love a challenge especially if it pushes them out of their comfort zone, ie discomfort is their comfort zone (understand that a bit of chaos can foster creativity and innovation but realise that too much can fuel anarchy)

Moving out of your comfort zone means entering other zones like fear, learning and growth

comfortzone.jpg


(source: https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/122089839885450069/?d=t&mt=login )

iii) manage their careers on the way up
"...A focus on doing their current job well, and that earns them promotions......build a track record of success......be open to opportunities..."
Adam Bryant, 2017

"...empathetic and care about people, but also be willing to let them go if they're dragging down the team. You have to create a sense of urgency, but also have the patience to bring everybody on the team along..."
Adam Bryant, 2017

They understand their and others' strengths and weaknesses, etc

. iv) trustworthiness, ie
"...Do we trust them to do the right thing?
    Will they be straight with us and don't shave corners of truth?
    Do they own their mistakes; give credit where credit is due; care about their employees as people as opposed to assets?
    Do they manage down as well as up?..."

Adam Bryant, 2017

"...if you want to lead others, you've got to have their trust, and you can't have their trust without integrity..."
James Hackett as quoted by Adam Bryant, 2017

Linked with trustworthiness is respect for people who work for you and they have to respect you.

Leaders are only as good as their followers
"...the quality of the followers is in direct correlation to the respect you hold them in..."
Jeffrey Katzenberg as quoted by Adam Bryant, 2017

Most people are very perceptive, especially when they are looking upwards to their managers.
"...should never assume that you can predict what experiences will teach them the most about what they value, or about what their life should be......you have to be open and alert at every turn to the possibility that you're about to learn the most important lesson of your life..."
Ruth Simmons as quoted by Adam Bryant, 2017

 

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