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Bruce Holland

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What makes a great manager?

I was discussing the question, "What makes a great manager?" with a group of my clients just last week. We all spoke about great leaders we have known; and we tried to identify what they actually did that made them great. The conclusion we came to was that they are all givers (not takers). Whereas many managers are refrigerators (who suck energy out of the organisation), these people are radiators (who pump energy into the organisation).

Great Managers Are Givers

Great managers do not place themselves at the centre, they place others there. They do not focus on satisfying their own needs and desires, they look for ways to satisfy the needs and desires of others.

Things they give include:

  • Great managers know who they are, more deeply than other managers do, and are vulnerable enough to share this knowledge of themselves freely (beliefs, values, dreams, strengths and weaknesses)
  • They search for the core of greatness they know exists within each of their people; and in the process, their belief gives people the confidence to manifest what I call it their Golden Buddha
  • They share their dreams and give people hope for a better future
  • They give their time generously
  • They give their undivided attention and are great listeners
  • They give their trust, have high expectations and believe in people
  • They give their relationships and link their people up with others who can help.

Great leaders put other people's interests first. Their measure of success is whether other people grow; whether they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more capable and become great managers in their own right - and create other people who feel that they, too can make a difference in others' lives.

Why This Is Important

When people are managed by less-than-great managers, they:

  • Slow the whole organisation down
  • Waste endless managerial time
  • Cause relationship problems with others in the team
  • Produce only if they are carefully watched
  • Are motivated primarily by money
  • Rubbish the organisation in private
  • Leave as soon as they can.

Irresistible Leaders

There is no doubt that great managers are important, however, in my opinion, they are still a step away from Irresistible Leaders - irresistible in the sense that we feel drawn to them and want to help them without really knowing why.

All great managers make use of individuals' talents, but Irresistible Leaders play a bigger game; they understand the potential of entire teams.

Performance reviews typically look at individuals, but leaders are responsible for the output of a team, not just the team's components.

Irresistible Leaders need the skills and tools to manage 'combinations' more than 'people'; and the skills and tools to plan for the short-term and long-term development of these combinations.

How do you do it?

I know you understand the importance of creating great managers and Irresistible Leaders, but do you know how to do it?

It's about leadership development, but the old ways are not working. My benefit is that I have come to leadership development from a totally different background (strategy and organisational development) which is producing outstanding results. Give me a call. Lets make 2012 the year of Irresistible Leadership!

Warmest wishes,
Bruce Holland
Virtual Group Business Consultants
Hutt City, Wellington, New Zealand.
Phone +6421620456 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills

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