On Good and Bad Managers

Charisma, confidence and being vocal are key to being perceived as a leader, Time suggests after summarising some research on what makes people persuasive leaders.

Social psychologists know that one way to be viewed as a leader in any group is simply to act like one. Speak up, speak well and offer lots of ideas, and before long, people will begin doing what you say. This works well when leaders know what they’re talking about, but what if they don’t? If someone acts like a boss but thinks like a boob, is that still enough to stay on top?

The short answer is Yes, so “watch them closely and make sure they know what they’re doing and where they’re going”.

Reading about how we can be perceived as great managers simply by altering our external behaviour (rather than altering our internal behaviour or world view) reminded me of this piece, discussingĀ reasons managers become great (via Kottke). Reasons included:

  • Enjoy helping people grow.
  • Love creating positive environments.
  • Care deeply about the success and well being of their team.
  • Succession mentality.
  • Practice of the golden rule: the ethic of reciprocity.
  • Self aware, including weaknesses.

The above was written as a compliment to Scott Berkum’s other list,Ā reasons managers become assholes:

  • A boss they admired was an asshole.
  • They are insecure in their role.
  • They prefer intimidation to leadership.
  • Their life sucks.
  • They lose their way.
  • Promotion chasing.
  • Their management chain is toxic.
  • The Peter Principle.
  • They’re not assholes, they’re just insensitive or oblivious.
  • Madly in love with themselves.
  • They always were assholes.