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Leadership Skills - What Makes an Effective Manager?

By Jessica Valdez   |    September 20, 2017   |    9:56 AM

Effective Management and Good Leadership Skills

Google is famous for its love of data-based decision making. Yet even Google was in for a big surprise when it decided to crunch the numbers to decode the secret of success so as to uncover the most important leadership skills. In a study that involved the collation and analysis of 10,000 manager observations, using surveys, performance reviews and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition, Google reached some amazing conclusions, not least that technical expertise is the least important skill for a good leaders. So what leadership skills are the most important?

1- Even-keeled and cool bosses

We've all had -and feared- bosses who at the drop of a hat suddenly fly off the handle. Even if we can all at times be burdened with stress, no one should take it out on their employees. Bosses who are belligerent and prone to bad moods add oodles of stress to employees' busy work lives. A negative working environment makes it hard to accomplish. Positivity allows employees to bloom. The bottom line is staff need managers who are cool, calm and collected.

2- Managers who are coaches and teachers

It is vital that those in leadership positions learn to redirect their focus from the work to their staff.  One of the key leadership skills is being able to coach and teach your staff. Effective managers go the extra lengths to look out for their people, as they are aware that it is their people who do the work. It may be time consuming for managers but they need to learn to support their employees, mentor them and teach them the ropes. This might even mean holding their employees’ hands during tougher times or taking the time to puzzle over problems with them.

3- Taking a personal interest

One of the most important leadership skills does not involve diplomas or technical expertise, rather it comes down to being human. Google proved that those managers who took an interest in their employees’ lives and careers inspired trust, respect, loyalty and appreciation from their staff and the feeling seemed to be mutual. Managers who truly take an interest in their staff’s well-being reported a happier more productive team.

4- A leader who empowers and does not micro-manage

Everyone wants someone to believe in them and applaud them for their success. One of the most important leadership skills is the ability to boost the confidence of your team and believe in their competencies. This could mean publically acknowledging staff achievements or assigning work that plays to team strengths. There are many ways to achieve this, the most important takeaway is that although leaders should still be available for advice they must learn to give freedom to their employees to ensure they feel empowered and capable.

5- Be results-oriented

Ever tried to drive to a location you did not know without a map? If you have, you will know that is very easy to get lost without any knowledge of the direction you are supposed to be going. Work projects are exactly the same; staff cannot be expected to know how to do their job and accomplish projects without clear guidelines, deadlines and priorities. One of several key leadership skills is to be a guide who can clearly outline the goals and achievements expected of staff and remove roadblocks so that they can get to the finishing line on time.              

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