Common traits of high-performing managers

Common traits of high-performing managers

Managers can build or break a company. Great leaders push their staff to attain their maximum potential and assist their businesses in achieving their objectives. At the same time, dictators discourage their staff to the point where they want to leave the organization. In this article, I explore the common traits of high-performing managers and then go into how high-performing teams ought to be managed to maintain and grow the effort of team members.


The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them as leaders, and continually develops them.

—John Maxwell


What are high-performing managers, and why is it essential to have them in your organization?

Because you don't want to lose your most exemplary employees, you must take all possible steps to guarantee that managerial roles are filled with the correct individuals the first time.


Great managers can simultaneously lead teams, assist them in growing, and keep complete control over their firm and its success. These are the people who can adjust to new conditions on the fly, inspire others to attain their most significant potential and produce their finest work.


Great leaders don't merely lead by example, to put it another way. They are primarily concerned with honing their leadership abilities, and many of them do. They stay focused on their key priorities at all times, ensuring that they and their team never deviate from their objectives. They are also self-serving and execute, putting up their utmost effort in completing their tasks.

Common Traits of High-Performing Managers

Common traits of high-performing managers


Any competent manager serious about their leadership development has a set of talents and characteristics that can determine whether or not they will succeed in becoming a genuine leader rather than simply another boss. The following are 12 of those abilities.

  1. Honesty
    • Things start to come apart when a team quits thinking their leader delivers the truth. Why should employees have any faith in their supervisors if they have discovered the latter has been dishonest?
    • A study conducted by TinyPulse analysts discovered that 61 percent of employees felt that trusting their superiors is critical to job happiness. Unfortunately, just 33% of these employees were satisfied with the degree of trust in their workplace.
    • Honesty is crucial in the corporate sector. Honest managers set an example for the rest of their teams by being genuine. Look for applicants that appreciate the value of openness and transparency when choosing a manager.
  2. Ability to communicate
    • According to employee engagement studies, poor management communication is one of the main pain issues in diminishing productivity.
    • Knowing what has to be done is one thing for managers. It's another thing entirely for them to effectively explain those priorities to each member of their team, each of whom is in charge of distinct responsibilities.
    • Another one of the traits of exceptional leaders is excellent communication abilities. The finest managers can bring their whole staff on board, ensuring that everyone is working toward the same goal—not several distinct ones.
    • Managers must be able to interact effectively in person. On the other hand, the finest ones can communicate just as well through writing.
  3. Decisiveness
    • Whether they work for themselves or oversee large departments, all managers must make difficult decisions regularly in addition to routine choices.
    • Look for applicants that realize that the buck stops at their desk and are not hesitant to move quickly when necessary to make your company more effective. Strong leaders can promptly make challenging decisions after conducting due diligence and weighing all of their alternatives.
    • Every day, the average human makes up to 35,000 different decisions. Managers are likely to make a few more, as they are responsible for a significant portion of the decision-making process at work. It's as easy as that—hire indecisive management, and your firm will move more slowly.
    • As Brian Tracy puts it, "Decision-making is a trait of high-performing men and women. " "Almost any option is preferable to none at all."
  4. Confidence
    • Managers must be confident in their judgments to maintain their team's support. Managers must persuade their colleagues to continue forward after making a difficult decision—even personnel who would make a different option if they were in charge. Candidates who exude confidence are far more likely to inspire their whole workforce, including those who oppose them.
    • All businesses have difficulties from time to time. A judge may rule against you. A new rival may join the market and acquire traction. Your clients might not like a new product release. Managers must maintain their confidence in such situations to lead their teams forward.
    • Having a solid sense of self-worth, on the other hand, is not something that comes naturally. Great CEOs and leaders like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have to learn this talent over time.
  1. Responsibility
    • Great managers recognize that they are in control, which means they are accountable for everyone's performance—both achievements and failures. To that aim, they monitor all of their employees to see what they can do to improve as workers and advance professionally.
    • Because many professionals place a high value on professional growth, promotions and career pathing must be clear to employees.
    • Managers that care about their workers and want to help them advance professionally will nearly always keep them engaged.
  2. Empathy
    • Returning to the statistic about individuals abandoning their employers, if workers are drowning in work—and according to research, 70% of them believe they are—managers must be empathetic. They must be able to put themselves in the shoes of their employees and picture what it's like to work for them.
    • Look for applicants with managerial experience who appreciate the value of empathy. Bad things like people quitting your firm or losing your trust might happen when managers don't listen to their employees and understand where they're coming from.
    • 91 percent of CEOs see the relationship between this often neglected characteristic and their company's financial performance.
  3. Focus
    • Any given business has a plethora of conflicting priorities. Many activities are moving forward simultaneously, and it isn't easy to keep track of everything.
    • Managers must not lose sight of something because they are preoccupied with something else for their company to prosper.
    • This difficult-to-achieve focus comes with a slew of other advantages, such as assisting you in:
      • Boosting your imagination
      • Always keep your client in mind.
      • Setting yourself out from the competition.
      • Achieving your personal and professional objectives.
      • Creating more robust networks and collaborations.
    • According to Harvard Business Review research, the efficiency of leaders isn't based on long hours of labour. Instead, it's determined by how effectively they can stay focused on their jobs and objectives.
    • Managers must, without a doubt, be cognizant of the larger picture. They must, however, have laser-like attention to the minor details.
    • Look for candidates that have shown they can wear many hats at once. Great managers have a proven track record of effectively completing several projects from start to finish.
  4. Creativity
    • Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Hire a manager with a talent for coming up with brilliant ideas and thinking beyond the box.
    • Decisions aren't always as clear-cut as they appear. To address challenges, you may need to think beyond the box.
    • Look for individuals who have proved their capacity to inventive solutions to challenging challenges when you hunt for management prospects. This is one of the essential characteristics of every successful leader. They're recognized for innovative methods to enhance operations and better serve consumers while also making their personnel happy.
    • You're more likely to find an excellent manager if you evaluate people who have led projects, helped develop new goods or services, and find out methods to increase productivity.
  5. Optimism
    • CEOs' economic optimism is dwindling with each passing quarter. This feeling reflects a broad view of the corporate world from a comprehensive viewpoint. There are also tiny pieces of positivism that managers may show in all they do daily.
    • From time to time, everyone has difficulties at work. In other circumstances, many workers may be struggling at the same time. Consider a corporation that is modernizing its IT infrastructure and the ensuing issues.
    • At work, it's easy to become irritated. When managers publicly voice their displeasure with something while the rest of the team suffers, it can demoralize the group. Great managers are aware of this, so they strive to maintain a positive attitude at all times.
  6. Commitment
    • Managers who see their jobs as stepping stones to other, more lucrative jobs are unlikely to do anything to promote team morale.
    • Great leaders tend to stay in power for a long time. They intend to be in it for the long run.
    • They are dedicated to their teams, goals, stakeholders, culture, and the overall economy. Most importantly, they position themselves for success and serve as role models for others who follow in their footsteps. Perhaps they're aiming for the top of the ladder. They aren't seeking the next available job, though. They're committed to a single goal and eager to advance in their careers.
  7. Delegation
    • Delegation is a power in and of itself, not just a leadership characteristic. It's the ability to delegate less essential activities to devote more time to more critical tasks that demand a manager's undivided attention.
    • Many leaders are afraid to delegate tasks because they believe it would harm their image, portraying them as weak, uninterested, or unskilled—all of which are untrue accusations.
    • Delegating isn't just handing off your task to someone else because you don't want to do it yourself. It's about accepting the fact that others are more prepared to perform a work than you are, respecting this truth, and clearing up your calendar so you can focus on the tasks where your abilities may shine.
    • Some of the best jobs and procedures to assign to the proper individual are:
      • From money to human resources, administrative jobs abound.
      • Responsibilities for onboarding and training
      • Obtaining feedback
      • Time and project management
      • Tasks that need decision-making regularly
      • Priorities that are approaching their due date and you are not prepared to deal with them promptly
      • All activities that someone else on your team has a better understanding of and competence to handle.
      • An employee will be motivated and prepared for a higher level of responsibility if given a familiar task.
      • Any of your jobs that others with comparable abilities to yours would enjoy doing
  1. Vision
    • What would the world be like if we didn't have a vision? Everything we see around us exists because someone had a wild idea they wanted to bring to reality.
    • The path of a leader begins with a vision. Depending on how far they want to go, their goal might involve advancing humanity as a whole. No, they aren't just a bunch of fancy words. This is what having good eyesight can accomplish.
    • The ultimate objective of a successful leader is to take their vision, share it with others, and assist the entire team in achieving the seemingly impossible.
    • When it comes to recruiting a manager, you'll most likely want them to share your company's vision. This is where the alignment of the candidate's brand with your own becomes vital. The suitable applicant will share your vision. So why not repay the favour by assisting them in bringing their ideas out of the closet and into reality?


Is it necessary for a management candidate to possess these leadership qualities?

  • It may be challenging to discover someone who possesses all 12 of these leadership qualities. They do, however, exist.
  • Otherwise, you may select the individual that possesses the bulk of the attributes that your company requires and work with them to improve the skills that they lack.
  • It takes a long time to do this task. Specific characteristics, such as optimism and empathy, can be cultivated through time.
  • So, list out your ideal candidate's must-have leadership abilities in order of significance. Ask each applicant to describe a time in their career when they had to apply these characteristics (providing proof, of course).
  • When working with your team, a management candidate who has demonstrated several leadership qualities multiple times over their career is exceptionally likely to exhibit the same behaviours. After all, you're searching for a genuine leader, not someone who merely gives out instructions and chores.


How do you manage a high-performing team?

  1. Pay your respects
    Recognize the accomplishments of the team. Ensure that everyone on the team understands how much you value them and their efforts. Please make an effort to make them feel welcome. They should brag about their successes to their superiors. Make the team feel unique, in a nutshell. Compensation should reflect the organization's appreciation of the team's efforts.
  2. Instil values
    Cohesion is essential for team success, as is working together for the common benefit. The same is true inside the organization's teams. Make it evident that no group is more important than the corporation. At the same time, recognize that individual members will be more loyal to their team members than to members of other teams. A clever CEO will discover methods to use the team's cohesion to benefit the whole company by placing the unit in places where its success will help it.
  3. Foster a culture of mutual trust in the workplace.
    According to the Harvard Business Review, trust is a fundamental component of leadership success. Productive teams understand that failures are only stepping stones on the path to the next big idea. If your staff feels comfortable coming up with potentially dangerous experiments, they need to know that you'll listen to them.
  4. Concentrate on the employee's strengths
    A business culture built on strengths has tangible benefits: The "strong linkages between employee strengths development and corporate performance" are highlighted in Gallups 2015 Strengths Meta-Analysis. In high-turnover sectors, a strengths-based workplace enhances employee retention by up to 72 percent, increases profits by 14 to 29 percent, and reduces safety occurrences by up to 59 percent, according to their research.
  5. Do not micromanage
    Google states that strong leaders don't strive to govern over every detail, noting that "teams with exceptional managers were happier and more productive." If you're involved in your team's performance, you might feel compelled to be meticulous about every aspect. Micromanaging may stifle employee initiative and demotivate workers.
  6. Assert yourself
    Naturally, aggressiveness must be balanced with empathy and diplomacy, but marketing expert Michelle Smith emphasizes the need for fearlessness in a manager. A leader must overcome resistance, endure social adversity, and get out in front to promote staff success.
  7. Improve the careers of workers
    Have you ever worried that investing in your worker's training and development will prepare them for the next step in their careers? On the other hand, HR best practices advise otherwise: According to Google's manager study, identifying chances for workers to learn new skills increases the depth and strength of your team. You also send a strong message that you care about your employee's well-being.
  8. Be able to work under pressure
    The ability to handle pressure is one of the essential abilities. As a manager, you're responsible for the work of others, and there will be days when you feel like you're wearing a bullseye on your back. In a Norwegian School of Economics survey, emotional stability was ranked first on a list of critical managerial attributes. During times of stress, your capacity to take care of yourself and handle work-related strain will keep you thinking clearly.
  9. Communicate truthfully
    As with aggressiveness, candour must be balanced with sensitivity to your employee's viewpoints. According to Harvard Business Review research, a successful boss delivers explicit criticism and does not bury realities under a veil of civility. "Subordinates thought they could always depend on truthful replies from their commander," according to the study. If your workers don't know which habits are troublesome, they'll have difficulty improving.
  10. Be willing to try new things
    As a manager, you must maintain a flexible and open mind to recognize improving an operation. "Great managers let their team members express fresh ideas and offer them room for innovation," says Yasmina Yousfi, Chief Business Officer at Cloudwave.
  11. Have excellent analytical skills
    According to the Management Study Guide, one of the most critical leadership attributes is a robust cognitive and analytic approach, which leads to effective decision-making. You may be a naturally persuasive, charming person who is good at talking with others, but those skills are only part of the package. You should also set aside enough mental energy to keep a firm handle on your department's workforce metrics.
  12. Reward and recognize outstanding effort
    Offering staff awards and recognition, according to the research, is a fantastic opportunity for managers that is often neglected. According to Gallup data, just one in three U.S. workers " strongly agree" that they got acknowledgement or praise for performing an outstanding job in the previous seven days. According to the report, employee recognition "not only enhances individual employee engagement but it has also been demonstrated to promote productivity and loyalty to the organization, resulting in greater retention."
  13. Be a role model
    As a leader, you set an example by demonstrating the effort, passion, and other qualities you demand from those you supervise. According to a recent analysis by global research firm Universum, the capacity to be a role model was one of the top two skills CEOs seek when hiring new managers.
  14. Express gratitude to employees
    Using employee awards to show your team members that their valued efforts provide your company with a wide range of benefits. "Recognizing people for their exceptional work sends a compelling message to the receiver, their work team, and other workers through the grapevine," says PR coach Kim Harrison. When you recognize and promote outstanding performance, you change your organization's culture.


Yolanda Chimonyo is a Strategy and Performance Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 242 481946-48/481950


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Yolanda Chimonyo
This article was written by Yolanda a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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