In our previous blog post, we discussed “The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.”  This time, in an effort to balance things out, we’re going to explore five traits of great managers and team leaders.

There’s nothing mind-blowing about this list.  It all seems like common sense.  However, in the rough-and-tumble world of business, possessing these traits—and executing the behaviors associated with them—is often easier said than done.

With that in mind, below are five traits of great managers and team leaders:

  • They are energetic, optimistic, and inspiring.  Being successful takes a lot of energy and the ability to make other people excited about your vision and plan for the future.  Great managers have the potential to not only lead but also to inspire their team to achieve more.
  • They stay in touch and stay engaged.  Great managers also know that success starts with people, not with processes or technology, although those things have their place.  By staying engaged with your team members, they know that you’re “in the trenches” with them, working side by side to achieve your goals.
  • They set expectations for results and inspect those results.  You know the old saying: “Inspect what you expect.”  Make certain that everybody knows exactly what is expected of them, and more importantly, that they know they will be held accountable for what is expected of them.
  • They show appreciation.  This one is simple, but it’s also overlooked by many managers.  Showing appreciation, either verbally or non-verbally, shows everybody that you value what they do and how hard they work to make the team a success.
  • They surround themselves with smart people.  Great managers and team leaders know they don’t have all the answers.  That’s why they seek out those who have the answers they don’t have, and they make sure they hire the right employees for that purpose.  That makes this trait perhaps the most important one of all.

Do you possess some of these traits?  All of them?  None of them?  More importantly, are these traits reflected in your actions on a daily basis? Take stock of yourself (and your managerial style) and make the changes you need to make to become great!