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15 Essential Skills for Successful Managers

Successful Manager standing in front of his desk

Do you want to be a more successful manager? There are essential skills that successful managers apply. By focusing on growing your aptitude in each of these areas you will be a better manager. Good managers have happier and more engaged employees who also get better results. Let's review these essential skills. 

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10 Traits of a Leader

Leadership is often a broad term used in so many different ways the true traits of a leader can get lost in the shuffle.  A leader is someone who gets work done, not on his or her own, but through the efforts of others.  A leader builds teams, networks, and coalitions and rallies people around a common goal.  To be successful there are a number of standard traits a leader will typically exhibit.  Let's talk about what these key traits are and how they impact the success of the leader and their team.   

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Time Management and Organization Skills begin with Managing your inbox effectively

Time management and organization skills are among the most critical skills for leaders to possess.  So why is it that so many of us often struggle to manage our calendars, our email, people stopping by our desks, the fires that pop up, and on and on everyday?  Well, for each of us there is a different answer to ‘Why’ but there’s a more critical answer to ‘How’.  How do I regain time in my day?  How do I juggle all of the balls I have in the air?  How do I balance home life and work life?  By using some of the tools that we’re all familiar with in, for the most part, a simplistic fashion, we’ll lay out a path to taking back your calendar and your inbox and creating real time in your day.

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The Consciously Competent Leader Demonstrates Good Leadership Skills in Mentor Relationships

I recently had the opportunity to speak with the leader of a corporation about how he set out to develop his executive team.  His strategy was to identify the skills he wanted them to focus on and then set-up a mentor relationships with peers that were very strong in that skill.    I asked how that strategy worked and he quickly let me know that it was hit or miss.  He didn't understand why some mentor relationships worked well while many floundered.

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The Front Line Managers Guide to Good Leadership Skills: Effectively Managing Change

Effectively managing change requires front line managers to embrace the saying “The only thing constant is change”?  As front line managers we use this statement often to explain why we are asking our employees to learn or do something new.  We often think this should be enough, individuals should get that the change we are asking them to make should now be embraced with open arms and that they should understand more change is to come and they should be ready. 

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Develop Good Leadership Skills: What is Emotional Intelligence or EQ?

As you embarked on your journey to develop good leadership skills, you have probably come into contact with the term, Emotional Intelligence or EQ.  While many use this term in their management endeavors, few truly understand its implications. So, what is Emotional Intelligence?  EQ is the demonstration of good leadership skills by leaders who are self aware, self regulating, motivated, empathetic, and possess great social skills.

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Your Circle of Control, Your Behavior Drives Results

Do you ever get so caught up in problems with clients, colleagues, results, angry customers that you lose sight of the only true thing you control, your behavior?  You are probably already sitting there thinking, this article is a waste of time.  I have to focus on customers.  I have to focus on results.  I have to focus on what my boss thinks.  Ask yourself, do you really?  Aren't results, customer interaction, how others view you really a derivative of what you do or say?  It would be very disheartening to think that you have zero control of outcomes? 

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Team Building: Characteristics of a Good Team

Team building, team coaching, teamwork, no matter what you call it, you need to know that there are four characteristics of a good team. First, know that we use the term team loosely.  You often hear a leader call the folks in their organization their team.  As we discuss the characteristics of a good team, you will find that this is a misnomer.  The characteristics of a good team are a commitment to a common purpose, performance goals, complementary skills, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

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Leadership: The Quick Conversation

I had occasion lately to ponder the linkage between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership.  In the article The Characteristics of a Leader: Demonstrating Good Leadership Skills we identified two characteristics of leadership as being Straightforward and Fair-minded.  Let’s explore how these relate to Emotional Intelligence.

As a reminder, being straightforward is about using sound judgment to make good decisions at the right time.  It’s about staying focused, planning, and not making rash decisions on the spur of the moment. 

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Leadership Lessons We Learned on 9/11

September 11, 2011 was one of the worst days in American history and provided the most superb illustration of exemplary leadership in action.  The local, state, and federal leaders were faced with unimaginable decisions to make in a short period of time.  From collecting information, deploying resources, outlining response planning, and directing a nation, the leaders we all followed through this horrendous event not only provided the leadership needed for a nation to endure but also set an example of what true leadership should look like in everyday work and home life. 

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Trust: A Key Characteristic of Leadership

Most of us learned the principles of leadership through theory generated out of the Industrial Revolution.  Authors such as Frederick W. Taylor whose book The Principles of Scientific Management became a cornerstone of leadership theories and helped to define the characteristics of a leader that many of us hold true today.  Taylor and other leadership thought leaders taught us that people are innately lazy or unfocused in their work and that we as leaders need to implement systems and processes that ensure work flows at the correct level of productivity.  Their focus was on accountability and oversight rather than flexibility and ownership.  As the world around us has evolved and our values have changed, we have yet to evolve past these principles in the vast majority of corporations. 

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5 Reasons Situational Leadership is a Key Leadership Skill

Situational Leadership is based on the principle that there is no best leadership style to use all of the time but that the best leadership style will be dependent on the situation a leader is in.  Intuitively this makes sense, right?  If you’re trying to engage or motivate an executive with industry tenure, your approach should certainly be different than that which you’d take with a recent addition to the team at a junior level.  So let’s take a closer look at why situational leadership is such a key leadership skill. 

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What is Organizational Leadership?

With the transient nature of today’s managers and the ever increasing changes in economy landscapes, being an effective organizational leader is more important than ever.  For this reason, many leaders are looking for ways to grow and adapt their leadership skills.  The discipline of Organizational Leadership is focused on the development of transferable leadership skills that regardless of industry, function, or role will be applicable to managing and leading teams.  To be an effective organizational leader, you should focus on being well rounded by developing in 4 core leadership competencies. 

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