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10 Leadership Qualities Every Manager Should Have

Leaders need to be able to inspire loyalty, act in the best interests of their employees, and make decisions that could affect the entire company. For this reason, there are certain qualities that all managers should have to be able to do their job effectively.

Whether you’re looking to hire a new manager and need a checklist of qualities to be on the lookout for, or you’re trying to decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a manager, this article is for you.

Below, we’ve gone into detail about the top ten qualities that make a great manager. Learn all about them below.

1. Decision-making ⚖️

Decision-making is an essential skill for a manager, which is why we’ve included it at the top of this list. A good leader will need to make decisions in stressful situations, allocate resources in a way that ensures everyone has what they need, and make long-term decisions that could affect the livelihood of their employees.

For those looking to take on leadership roles, it is necessary to be comfortable not just with decision-making but also with being able to take responsibility for those decisions and any consequences that come out of them.

Effective leaders know how to act on gut instinct when it comes to decisions, and while you can learn many leadership skills, trusting your own intuition might be difficult to learn.

2. Acting responsibility 👥

A successful leader knows that they hold not just their own livelihood in the balance. One of the top qualities of a good leader then is being able to act responsibly.

Acting responsibly can have many meanings, but it could include the following:

  • Ethical standards: Managers must adhere to ethical standards and principles when working within their organizations. This ensures that everyone, from employees to other stakeholders, can maintain trust in their leader.
  • Legal compliance: In almost all industries, there are legal standards that managers must adhere to to ensure that the organization is legally compliant. Acting responsibly means adhering to these regulations.
  • Stakeholder relationships: A manager needs to maintain good relationships with clients, customers, and other stakeholders. This means that you need to act responsibly in communications with these individuals or entities.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Organizations often recognize the need to contribute positively to society and the environment. Managers should weigh these social responsibilities in all decisions they make.
  • Employee trust: Last of all, if you aim to be a great leader, then you’re going to want to have a trusting relationship with your employees, and that means behaving responsibly.

3. Confidence 💪

Confidence is key to being able to make decisions, communicate well, and look after the people in your charge. While you might sometimes struggle with confidence or lose confidence after a blow to your abilities, having a general belief that you can do your job well is always going to translate into good leadership.

If you don’t necessarily feel confident at all times, then remember the old aphorism, ‘Fake it til you make it.’ While we don’t suggest outright lying, feigning a bit of the confidence you need to be a good leader can help to remind you that you do actually have the skills to do the job at hand, even if imposter syndrome sometimes gets in the way.

Confidence is often one of the soft skills not mentioned on a job listing, so it is important to remember it at an interview if you’re looking to move into a management position.

4. Communication Skills 🗣️

Communication skills are a vast area that strong leaders need to fulfill, but that’s because there are many expectations to meet as a leader. Below are just a few of the instances when effective communication is an important leadership skill.

  • Clarity of expectations: For your employees, effective communication of the expectations you have of them is the simplest way to help them not only meet deadlines but enact good overall time management.
  • Motivation: Keeping your employees motivated is the simplest way to keep them productive, so being able to communicate with them in a way that motivates them is a good quality for a leader to have.
  • Feedback and development: Being able to communicate an employee’s strengths and weaknesses to them is key to helping them develop. Managers need to know where the line is between being constructive and just outright criticizing an employee.
  • Conflict resolution: Unfortunately, your employees aren’t always going to get along, and for this reason, a good leader will need to have some conflict resolution skills.

5. Listening Skills 👂

On the topic of communication skills, active listening is also important as a leader. You’re never going to understand your team members and any issues they’re facing if you cannot listen effectively. A good leader will likely need to deal with conflict and problems brought to them by their staff, so having the patience to listen to people and understand their worries will serve you well as a leader.

On top of this, listening and understanding briefs from clients and getting to know what they actually want from you comes from good listening skills, too. Being able to listen and understand is key to building trust with employees and ensuring happy clients 😀.

6. Empathy 🥰

Empathy and emotional intelligence are key for leaders. Empathy essentially just means that you can understand and share the emotions of another person, which is key to building healthy workplace relationships.

empathy

7. Vision 👀

Long-term vision and a growth mindset mean that you believe in your ability to grow and can see where this growth will take you. In all leadership styles, being able to envision and plan for the future is absolutely crucial.

A growth mindset means that though you have a vision for the future, you’re also adaptable and can change depending on the needs of the business or your employees. It also means that you’re open to continuous learning and developing as a person and as a leader.

This makes room for innovation and creativity in your team and can help your organization stand out as a leader in their field.

8. Honesty 🧑‍⚖️

For leaders, being honest can help to build trust with your team and ensure that they have confidence in the things that you say. If you constantly tell white lies or fail to properly explain things, you might find your team lacks trust in you.

A lack of trust in leadership can have an impact on engagement and team loyalty. Both of these things can impact your productivity as a company and, ultimately, your bottom line.

9. Flexibility 🤸

Being able to adapt to changing circumstances and alter how you do something to improve profits is a key quality found in leaders. Particularly in industries where things can change quickly, being flexible will do you good.

For industries like hospitality or retail, where the work is fast-paced and can be determined by outside factors, being able to change your approach will mean dealing with crises well, managing conflict, and ultimately keeping the customer happy.

10. Action 🎬

At the root of leadership is action because if you’re not acting, you’re not really leading. Decisive action means taking steps that are in the best interests of your employees, that improve their engagement and happiness, and that progress the company as a whole.

Conclusion

Being a leader requires many different soft skills. Whatever industry you’re looking for a leader in, these soft skills rarely change much. This list is a non-exhaustive look at all the qualities that make good leaders.

If you’re looking to find a new management candidate or you’re trying to decide if you are a good candidate for manager, this list should give you a good idea of what you’ll need to bring to the table.