I'm no management expert, but I'm observant and I've seen enough over the years to offer up some opinions. Here are 3 quick thoughts on being a good manager:
- Lead your people, don't obsess about managing them. This just means that you need to work on your emotional intelligence and understand how to get the best from the people on your team. Don't waste too much time on the little stuff, it will piss people off and pissed off people don't perform well over time. Your job is to get people to work together to achieve certain results. Focus on getting the desired results, not minutia.
- Environment over everything. Often, the biggest problems in the work place stem from issues that aren't being addressed or people who are bringing the group down. You have to address the problem right away or it will grow; and growing problems aren't good for what counts - your team delivering results. It sounds obvious, but it's scary how often managers let small issues balloon into major catastrophes. Protect your environment at all costs.
- Your employees are human beings, so are you - act like it. You don't need to be buddy-buddy with your employees, but they need to feel like you have a clue as to what they're going through on a daily basis. It's easy to fall into the management power trap of distancing yourself from your people, but don't do it. It doesn't make you look more authoritative, it makes you look like a dick. If you follow the first 2 steps, your team will know that you are in charge, you don't need to remind them.
Keep this stuff in mind and you will be a better manager, I promise.