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Top 10 Qualities of an Excellent Manager

~ By Jan Gordon

The word excellent on a virtual interface with a businessman standing behind it

An excellent manager taps into talents and resources in order to support and bring out the best in others. An outstanding manager evokes possibility in others.

1. Creativity

Creativity is what separates competence from excellence. Creativity is the spark that propels projects forward and that captures peoples' attention. Creativity is the ingredient that pulls the different pieces together into a cohesive whole, adding zest and appeal in the process.

2. Structure

The context and structure we work within always have a set of parameters, limitations and guidelines. A stellar manager knows how to work within the structure and not let the structure impinge upon the process or the project. Know the structure intimately, so as to guide others to effectively work within the given parameters. Do this to expand beyond the boundaries.

3. Intuition

Intuition is the capacity of knowing without the use of rational processes; it's the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. People with keen insight are often able to sense what others are feeling and thinking; consequently, they're able to respond perfectly to another through their deeper understanding. The stronger one's intuition, the stronger manager one will be.

4. Knowledge

A thorough knowledge base is essential. The knowledge base must be so ingrained and integrated into their being that they become transparent, focusing on the employee and what s/he needs to learn, versus focusing on the knowledge base. The excellent manager lives from a knowledge base, without having to draw attention to it.

5. Commitment

A manager is committed to the success of the project and of all team members. S/he holds the vision for the collective team and moves the team closer to the end result. It's the manager's commitment that pulls the team forward during trying times.

6. Being Human

Employees value leaders who are human and who don't hide behind their authority. The best leaders are those who aren't afraid to be themselves. Managers who respect and connect with others on a human level inspire great loyalty.

7. Versatility

Flexibility and versatility are valuable qualities in a manager. Beneath the flexibility and versatility is an ability to be both non-reactive and not attached to how things have to be. Versatility implies an openness - this openness allows the leader to quickly change on a dime when necessary. Flexibility and versatility are the pathways to speedy responsiveness.

8. Lightness

A stellar manager doesn't just produce outstanding results; s/he has fun in the process! Lightness doesn't impede results but rather, helps to move the team forward. Lightness complements the seriousness of the task at hand as well as the resolve of the team, therefore contributing to strong team results and retention.

9. Discipline/Focus

Discipline is the ability to choose and live from what one pays attention to. Discipline as self-mastery can be exhilarating! Role model the ability to live from your intention consistently and you'll role model an important leadership quality.

10. Big Picture, Small Actions

Excellent managers see the big picture concurrent with managing the details. Small actions lead to the big picture; the excellent manager is skilful at doing both: think big while also paying attention to the details.


Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: www.qualitycoaching.com Jan can reached at (954) 752-8025 or jan@qualitycoaching.com

Copyright © 2002 by Jan Gordon. All Rights Reserved. This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Jan Gordon is required.


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