A true manager always exhibits powers that are generated by sincerity. Other types of leaders may employ sinister methods like blackmailing, intimidating, power abuse, etc. and get quicker results, but these results don’t have a long-term durability. That is the reason these managers fail to create trust among their subordinates and are always disliked by their team members. It is not easy being a manager of highly functional units as it is, but making sure that someone does it without using manipulative tactics is an art.
There are some significant traits and characteristics that are commonly found in some of the most successful managers and mid-level managers that give them a competitive edge over their colleagues in the same profession and job profile.
We can have the following types of mid-managers based on their significant characteristics −
Let us now discuss and understand each of the above mentioned traits or characteristics in detail.
Good managers have the ability to visualize the future and forecasting various possibilities. They train themselves to see the possibilities far beyond themselves. Because of their farsightedness, their team is united and its capabilities are maximized.
Such leaders always know in advance what they are supposed to do in different circumstances. That’s the reason they are rarely caught on the wrong guard and are almost never clueless about a proceeding. The team-mates working under the supervision of such managers benefit from a sense of security that their manager assures them of.
They get confidence from the fact that whatever may be circumstances, their manager is always there to take care of it. This type of leadership inspires and motivates or members in team to achieve their goals or carry out their responsibilities.
The difference between visualizing and day-dreaming is that visualization leads to an implementable plan. People who visualize start working on putting their vision into reality. However, day-dreamers just keep fantasizing about better times without actually doing anything about it.
Good leaders always think a step in advance when it comes to planning. They always consider consequences, rewards and changes that can be made for strengthening of team. They are receptive yet sceptical about newly proposed strategies and only a sound explanation convinces them about the strategies.
Any strategy without implementation goes in vain. Leaders like to work out a strategy, they have an internal sense of urgency and act spontaneously, when they are presented with opportunities. In spite of their plans being subjected to criticism, good leaders always remain patient enough to stick to plan. This is a result of their confidence in themselves and in the capabilities of their team.
Mid-level managers are responsible for strategical planning for the growth of their teams, so when these managers stumble upon some hurdles, they always know a way to pick themselves up.
A mid-manager doesn’t just manage his team; he also coaches and mentors his team members. Mid-level managers, just like successful and inspirational leaders, always motivate and encourage their team members. Because of their attitude towards work their team develops a sense of loyalty and trust towards one another.
Leaders have trust and belief in the potential possessed by others in their team. In fact, many leaders are often flexible enough to give enough opportunities to their team members to pursue their goal in their own way, instead of enforcing their own views and beliefs on their team.
A true leader is humble enough to give the credit to his team for their achievements rather than taking all credits and accolades for himself. He understands that the more a team manager takes care of team, the more celebrated by the members he is.
Mid-level managers should always keep in mind that the role of a mentor is always deeply integrated with the responsibilities of a leader. It is high time for mid-level managers to step into the shoes of motivators and mentors and be a reassuring force for their teams.
The foundation of ethical leadership is based on honesty. If the manager is honest, the members of his teams will inherit honesty and truthfulness from him. A leader’s honesty is symbolic to his/her inner strength and integrity. Some people scoff at the age-old saying “Honesty is the best policy”, however the absence of honesty is a serious flaw in the character of a person, especially, if that person is a working professional.
Dishonesty is the shield of an insecure person. Such people can never lead, because with honest, comes accountability for their actions. Telling truth is just a part of being honest; it is also about being non-corrupt, straightforward and being a stickler for commitment and punctuality. Even only one dishonest step or a false statement could result in losing trust of staff forever.
Honesty also refers to sharing of information with team without any manipulation, bias or perjury. Furthermore, if information is not shared properly, the members of team may tend to get demotivated and may question leadership of leader.
A team will be more open to sharing their thoughts with the mid-level managers, if the managers lead by openly expressing their vision, plans for the future and their expectations from the team. If they think that their teammates need to know something which may affect their team, they should communicate it without trying to conceal any information.
If important and pressing matters are not expressed, uncertainty will build up fear in the minds of the team members and that will make things worse and difficult for mid-level managers to handle. So, the mid-level managers should be able to create a close bond of trust between them and the teams, which will help in making the teams more efficient.
Mid-level managers who are innovative thinkers always consider adopting newer and innovative ways and motivate their team members to follow the same path.
They know that well-calculated risks have many times brought in a lot of productivity and progress. Therefore, such mid-level managers are receptive to new ideas from their staff and always study the trends followed by their competitors to get new ideas.
A slightly different approach towards creativity, which is followed in many companies nowadays, is to not only encourage new ideas, but also to encourage disagreement and skepticism. A confident leader always sportively accepts difference in opinions between the team members.
Mid-level managers should build a team that contains members who have high performance capabilities. A confident mid-manager should challenge his teammates to question his decisions and find mistakes in them.
Looking backwards is not the same as looking back, though. A person looking back is someone trying to study his past failures and learn from them. In contrast, a person who looks backwards is someone who is always unsure and unconfident of his own steps. They take a decision and immediately regret it, or want to revert it as they don’t feel sure of it.
Leaders never look backwards, as they are consistently focused on winning. Leaders do not waste their time on looking out for someone to put the blame of their failure on. They take responsibility of their decisions and lead from the front. Excellence and quality are two key attributes that leaders possess. Good leaders never look forward to suppressing people, silencing their opinions or intimidate them. On the contrary, they always motivate and encourage people, and try to sharpen their skills so that their productivity increases.
A good leader is not the one who always manages his followers to obey his orders, but someone who also allows members of his team to openly share their doubts and apprehensions. They always give their followers the opportunity to question their suggestions and decisions. Good leaders at first challenge their subordinates, but once they are convinced of the action-plan, they always trust their subordinates’ decisions. They are capable of seeing through people’s mental and emotional states and identify capabilities and shortcomings within members of their respective teams. Good leaders are capable enough to attract compatible competencies using their flair and their positive energy. Their teams are inspired by their positive attributes and they get motivated by it and this usually helps during difficult situations.