Great Managers Are Always Nice by Chip Averwater

Chapter 5

Creed of a Great Manager

A great manager believes in his or her people—that they want to be part of the team, commit to a purpose, play a part, and help accomplish the team’s goals. He knows there are some people who don’t fit this description—but they’re not on his team.

 He sees his role not as an enforcer or disciplinarian but as a guide, facilitator, and coordinator. His focus is on communicating objectives, supplying feedback, developing skills, and recognizing and respecting efforts and successes.

Treat people as if they are what you want them to become and they’ll rarely disappoint you.

—Mike Mitchell

He knows commitment is based on trust, and he works hard to build it. He never lies to his team members and is careful to deliver what he promises. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers; when he doesn’t know, he says so.

He’s comfortable admitting that his team members know their jobs better than he does and celebrates that as the strength of the team.

He often coaches behavioral changes but never with threats or discipline. He simply offers advice and recommendations and expects his people to respond positively.

He believes most people will live up to his expectations but realizes some cannot; they’re distracted by personal problems, immaturity, psychological scars, substance abuse, and other challenges. He chooses his team carefully, and, when he makes a mistake, removes them as quickly (and as respectfully) as possible.

He wishes he could keep his best people forever, but he encourages them to expand their abilities and helps them advance in their careers. He takes pride in them and considers their success his success.

He believes practicing this creed not only helps the organization accomplish its goals—it enhances lives and makes the world a better place to live.