What Makes a Good Senior Manager

What Makes a Good Senior Manager

A Good Senior Manager

What makes a good senior manager?

Some of the traits exhibited by the best managers include:

Specialist knowledge of own business area – depending on the size of the organisation, there may be several levels below you in the chain of command, but regardless of how many people work under you, your overall responsibility for the function remains unchanged.
Hence you need to know enough about your own business area to know whether it is working correctly or not, and to know what action needs to be taken when deficiencies are identified.

Skilled in arguing your case – you are likely to participate in collective decision making with fellow managers. Therefore, you should have the ability to put across your opinions clearly and succinctly, backed up by evidence where available. Equally, you should be receptive to other points of view, and be able to analyse their advantages and disadvantages. You should be sufficiently thick-skinned to be able to cope with reasonable challenges to your viewpoint.

Understanding risk – senior managers need to be skilled in risk management – the process of identifying risks that apply to the company, assessing the likely impact were the adverse events to occur and putting in place measures to mitigate the risk. Many of the problems in the banking sector in recent years were caused by inadequate risk management.

Knowing when to delegate – it is important to strike the right balance. No matter how large your business area is, you never lose your ultimate responsibility for everything that takes place there, but it is almost impossible to supervise and check up on every action carried out by members of staff within the function. Even if you were to try, your workload would become unmanageable, staff at the lowest levels would feel inhibited and middle/junior management who report to you might become annoyed at their lack of freedom. A good manager knows when to ask questions, and when to step in and halt a particular business practice. If you believe that staff members are not competent, you need to examine what you can do to improve their competence.

Presenting a professional image – any manager who dresses inappropriately, looks scruffy, says the wrong thing or behaves inappropriately may find that their staff follow their lead.

Motivation – a good leader knows how to motivate their staff. They understand their individual personalities and what makes them tick, and know what to do and say to get the best out of them. Leaders set high but achievable standards, and help others to achieve them.

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