Fresh Thinking Group’s Scott Dylan explores the character traits of great managers and the character traits of managers who don’t inspire their teams.
It takes years of experience to become a great manager – the kind who inspires teams and leads them to flourish in successful projects. But great managers aren’t built purely on experience. Leadership roles are typically assigned based on personality traits, too. While the right kind of personality can suit a managerial role, other personality traits aren’t such a good fit for leadership positions. But how can we recognise the differences between these personality traits and work to overcome problems that arise from poor management?
Here, Scott Dylan highlights the personality traits that make an effective leader and the opposite traits that can result in poor workplace management.
First, here are Scott’s top four character traits of effective leaders.
1) They’re Motivational Coaches
Managers drive a company’s work culture. A good one motivates each team player so that all staff are working to the best of their abilities. An effective manager ensures that everyone’s roles are aligned so that the whole team is working towards the same vision. They make the most of different personality types, delegating advantageously in collaborative projects. Naturally, all team members have different strengths and weaknesses and need guidance at different times. An effective manager coaches each individual in the areas that will best help them to achieve their career goals and drive the company towards its vision.
2) They’re Great Communicators
Strong communication skills are vital for effective leaders. Managing a team isn’t just about delegating – a good manager knows how to listen to their team and act on employee concerns. When conflict arises, the manager must also be the voice of reason, resolving problems to suit everyone involved. A good communicator not only has a strong understanding of the company’s goals and vision but can effectively convey this to their team in such a way that each individual understands their essential contribution and feels valued. Managers should also be able to communicate wider company news so that staff are always up-to-date with business developments.
3) They’re Emotionally Strong
No business runs smoothly 100% of the time. When unexpected events hinder orders, events, and contracts, an emotionally resilient manager is best-positioned to overcome problems. In these difficult situations, the manager’s attitude and demeanour directly affect the team’s response. A manager who responds with a clear head and presents solutions is better able to keep their team calm. Meanwhile, a quick-tempered leader who panics when problems arise is more likely to disrupt their team’s motivation and productivity.
4) They’re Results-Orientated
Great managers lead their teams towards success. They know exactly what their teams need to achieve and focus on delivering key results. They celebrate small wins and project milestones along the way, tracking results to measure success and keep morale high. Results-orientated managers focus on the big picture and help the company to achieve its overall vision.
Scott Dylan’s Four Personality Traits of Ineffective Managers
Great managers coordinate the teams that really excel. But what about the managers who struggle to align their teams for the best outcomes? How can you approach an ineffective manager about your concerns?
Here are four red flags Scott Dylan sees in ineffective leaders.
1) They Lack Awareness
A good leader should be aware of company happenings, from project developments to dynamics between employees. Though it’s impossible to always have all the facts, a leader needs to have a rounded knowledge of the company’s progress so that they can make critical decisions. If a manager knows little about their team or projects, it’s a sign that either the team doesn’t trust the manager or that the manager isn’t engaged with the business.
2) They Are Inflexible
As managers need to accommodate a range of employee needs, they must be flexible and open to change. Flexibility opens doors to new ways of thinking and finding solutions outside of the box. While inflexible managers rarely make strong leaders, a dynamic manager problem-solves from creative angles and considers each team member’s thoughts. When a leader isn’t open to change, teams tend to fall into repetitive cycles, which are usually unproductive and damaging for business.
3) They Reject All Suggestions
When managers always respond to their team’s suggestions with ‘no’, employees learn that there is no point in voicing their opinions or offering counter-solutions. Often, these managers like to surround themselves with ‘yes people’ – people who agree with them no matter what. This kind of team dynamic weakens trust between the manager and their team and stunts creative thinking. Though managers usually have the final say in business matters, they shouldn’t consider their opinions to be the only point of view that matters. If a manager doesn’t feed off their team’s expertise and ideas to gain fresh perspectives, they won’t make good use of their resources or inspire healthy work culture.
4) They Don’t Hire Strong Candidates
A manager is responsible for building a team that effectively collaborates to complete projects and achieve goals. Strong leaders are good judges of character who can identify which candidates will be the best fit for the team. Project teams should comprise members who excel in different areas, so managers need to hire recruits who are more skilled than they are in certain ways. A good leader feels inspired, not intimidated, by recruiting highly skilled candidates. Managers who never hire anyone who is particularly skilled typically fail to recruit the talent that the company needs.
How to Approach a Difficult Manager
When you need to address problems arising from management, it’s often most effective to speak to your manager directly. Keep in mind that, while formality is often the best approach in corporate situations, a personal touch may give your manager the perspective that they have been lacking. You may be able to formalise a plan for improvement through a series of reviews or feedback sessions. This approach enables you to track progress and avoids your concerns being avoided or ignored.
For more tips on effective business management, visit Scott Dylan’s blog.
About Scott Dylan
Scott Dylan is a distressed M&A investor who manages buyouts to transform companies using his proven business development strategies. As a digital strategist and business coach, Scott works with teams across Europe to map routes towards success-driven company goals and achieve the best outcomes.
As the founder of Fresh Thinking Group, Scott leads business acquisitions across multiple sectors, including logistics, e-commerce, technology, and digital markets. Fresh Thinking Group develops restorative business strategies for struggling companies, start-ups, and businesses looking for growth. Companies under the Fresh Thinking Group umbrella benefit from shared group collectives and top-level business functions, enabling them to grow exponentially.