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Everyone encounters at least one during our career: a highly successful manager who appears to always know the right strategy, make the right choice, and attract precisely those employees, partners, and clients the company needs in order to improve operations.
But what is it that makes these managers so special? What do they have that the rest of us don’t?
You might be surprised to hear that most don’t have any special “super-manager powers.” Sure, some have an innate talent for communication or leadership. But the real differentiator is experience.
However, you can’t magically add years of experience to your career overnight. But you can maximize the time you spend learning, practicing, and honing those skills that make a successful manager. If you practice these skills as every day, then you’ll soon build up your managerial muscle.
Here are seven things successful managers do every day:
1. They plan their days the evening before. Preparation is key to being successful. Check your schedule and your to-do list at the end of every workday so you know what’s on your plate for the next day. For example, if you’re going to be in meetings all day, then you might want to get up extra early to prepare your notes; or if you’re going to be working on a quarterly report, it could be a good idea to get to work early and plan more breaks than usual so you can get up and move around.
2. They prioritize and delegate. Most managers have a lot of responsibilities that all need to be met in a timely manner. Yet even if you’ve planned your schedule carefully, something unforeseen can occur that requires your attention. When this happens, you need to take a step back and ask yourself, “What’s most important to the company right now?” Repeat this until you have oversight into what your priorities are; then set out to tackle the most important tasks one by one. Delegate the tasks you can hand off to your employees in order to have sufficient time to do your job well.
3. They make their team feel valued. In her Levo article titled “6 Habits of Successful Young Managers,” Liz Funk reminds us how important it is to value your employees. By acknowledging their hard work and input, you can make them feel engaged, which makes for a more pleasant work environment and leads to improved performance.
4. They help their employees grow. Foster an environment of learning and collaboration in which your employees can develop their skills and knowledge. The more they grow, the more value they bring to the company. At the same time, they’ll be more appreciative of and loyal to you.
5. They hold themselves accountable. The buck stops with you—not with any of your team members. The success of everything your team works on is ultimately your responsibility, so you have to make sure you provide your people with the information, tools, and guidance to do their jobs well.
6. They self-assess. At the end of each day, you should take some time to reflect. What did you accomplish? What challenges did you encounter, and were you able to overcome them? What have you learned? What could you have done better?
7. They learn incessantly. A good manager is always acquiring more knowledge and incorporating it into his or her toolbox. Observe other managers; read articles and books; and watch interviews with thought leaders in your field. The more you learn, the easier you’ll find it to develop effective strategies.
With the right tools and a lot of practice, everyone can learn to be a stellar manager. Make a conscious decision to practice these seven habits every day, and you’ll soon notice your managerial skills developing by leaps and bounds.