What Makes a Smart Manager?

Management-Issues, at the heart of the changing workplace
What makes a smart manager?
11 Aug 2009 | Bryan Alaspa

It's a sad fact that many of those in managerial roles are just not suited to being in charge of other people. And even those who do have the managerial knack can be undermined by a lack of training and support from their employer.

So how can a new manager become a smart manager? This piece by Mitch McCrimmon for Suite101.com has some great tips.

McCrimmon writes, "Managers who excel at working smart are enablers, not doers. They help others get work done by being facilitators, catalysts, coaches, influencers and developers of people. Smart managers position their coaching management style as being in the best interest of others rather than giving the impression that they are lazy."

Being a smart manager means putting yourself into a position to resolve problems. You become the focal point of employees who have problems, questions or disputes. You want those employees who report to you to trust you, look to you for leadership, and for help when they need someone to turn to.

If you simply "pass the buck" and don't take charge of those situations, you lose their respect and morale goes down.

The article also explains why there are far more not-smart managers than smart ones. This is because far too many managers are those who know how to impress their own bosses and achieve goals set for them, but lack any real experience managing people.

So be careful as you move up and as you promote people or you can end up paying a hefty price.
Original URL: http://www.management-issues.com/2009/8/11/blog/what-makes-a-smart-manager.asp?section=blog&id=5690&specifier=&mode=print&is_authenticated=0&reference=
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5 Things Next-Level Leaders Always Do

This post will take a look at the process of being or becoming a Next-Level Leader. There are probably a dozen different concepts of what a Next-Level Leader is or what that word-pairing actually means; however in this post I will provide my personal definition of what a Next-Level Leader is. I will also identify the 5 Things That Next-Level Leaders Do.
Next-Level Leader- A leader that not only elevates their personal leadership to that Next-Level, but elevates the leadership of their team members, peers and competition to the Next-Level.
Here are the 5 Things That Next-Level Leaders Always Do:
  1. Challenge Everything-They challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged. They not only challenge the thoughts/methods of their leaders but they challenge their own personal methodology. They realize that their boss puts their pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person is supervising doesn’t mean they are necessarily smarter or better leaders. Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising every-one’s leadership game to the Next-Level.
  2. Ask The Right Questions- They always ask the right questions… They begin sentences with “What If?, Have You Ever Thought About?, This Might Sound Crazy, but do you think we can…” Anytime they have the opportunity to sit down with a Next-Level Leader they desire to learn from, they have a list of questions and not a list of answers. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by asking the right questions.
  3. Dream- They are always dreaming and imagining. Some of these dreams may seem to be a fairy-tale to some, but not to a Next-Level Leader. A Next-Level Leader will schedule an appointment to dream, they go to Starbucks and Dream, they close their office door and dream, they take a vacation alone to do nothing but dream. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by dreaming, encouraging those around them to dream, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality.
  4. Learn- They are always learning from: books, blogs, their industry, history, other industries, culture, failures, their followers, other Next-Level Leaders… They have a mantra something like Will Rogers’ Mantra (I never met a man I didn’t like) The Next-Level “I Never Met a Man, Woman or Situation that I didn’t learn from.” They elevate their leadership game to the next level by realizing that learning is fundamental.
  5. Make Next-Level Leaders- Next-Level Leaders make Next-Level Leaders. Next-Level Leaders contribute to the world of leadership by truly caring about those that they lead and always developing Next-Level Leaders. They never confuse Management with Leadership. Managers manage people and things… Next-Level Leaders make other Next-Level Leaders. Simply put: “If You Are Not Developing and Making Next-Level Leaders… You Are Not A Next Level Leader.”
Do you or have you worked for a Next-Level Leader that does these things well? Thoughts on any of these 5 Things, or do you have anything additional to add to the list? Chime In!
Article source: Scott Williams

Recommended Reading: The Next Level: Leading Beyond the Status Quo
Recommended Training : Management Leadership Training