“The top two reasons thousands of people in a Gallup study gave for being promoted to manager were:
1) success in a prior non-management role and
2) tenure.”

There is much opinion around from observers of business and industry, that management skills are generally lacking across the globe; 75% of the reasons people quit comes down to their managers (Gallup). The top reasons given for promotion goes some way to explain it.  We would also add to the list of reasons, lack of support for new managers, hanging onto bossy hierarchy and status and the negative behaviour that can produce.  All of this takes managers away from being human, normal and natural.  Rather they are self-conscious; conforming to an outdated view of what a manager or boss should be – creating distance and a lack of real connection with their teams.
Typical ways managers and leaders can conform to outdated models include;
I need to know all the answers
I can’t show vulnerability or weakness.
My way is the best way.
A recent Forbes article by William Arruda, lists the key attributes he has observed for people being promoted to managers and being effective:

  • Exude confidence, in an inclusive, not arrogant way.
  • Are lifelong learners.
  • Have a positive, can-do attitude.
  • See the forest and the trees.
  • Build and nurture relationships regularly.
  • Have strong, recognisable, and memorable personal brands. “They are clear about who they are, what sets them apart from their peers, and what makes them relevant and compelling to decision makers.’’   In other words, they know their values. 
  • Are sought out for input and advice.
  • Generosity.
  • They are giving and focused on others. They understand that success comes from supporting others, not tearing them down.
  • Are goals driven and focused

Our work and research shows that everyone can be a great manager of people if they are themselves.  When, as managers, we are our real selves rather than our ‘work’ selves, we become relatable to and inspiring.  Our natural human reaction is then to see the good in others and recognise opportunities for people.  We try to help, we care and we naturally boost people.  Think about the time you spend outside of work. When you are with the people you care about and choose to spend time with, you instinctively coach, care, support and challenge, and you do it naturally not formally.  You also tend to react in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on others, you protect them and your environment so that they are happy and can grow.
Great managers of people:

  • Consciously manage their reactions and approaches.
  • Lift their self- awareness and ability to treat each team member as they want to be treated.
  • Are protectors, challengers and belief builders. All of which we tend to do really well outside of work.

Being yourself – the best you –  is the fastest way to be a better manager.  When we manage our emotional response and are the real us, people like us more.  We know with our iAM A Life Changing Manager workshop that the light bulb goes on within 90 minutes. The light bulb that says  – ‘I don’t need to change to make a career and life changing difference, all I need to do is be me and the best of me’.