By Jim Wong, CPA | August 27, 2014


Managing people takes more than smarts and a suit.

It really doesn’t matter the profession or industry. Managers of any trade require similar qualities in order to effectively lead a team. From a grocery store supervisor to the President of the U.S., effective managers possess leadership skills that make them stand out from their peers in order to get the job done.

In a recent LinkedIn article published by Human Workplace CEO and Founder, Liz Ryan, the author light-heartedly discusses the common misconceptions of manager skillsets. She covers everything from bagel store management to executive-level advisement, and the success of this piece comes from the true take-aways it gives that can be translated into any field.

For our accounting, finance and IT folks, this includes you, too. Whether you’re vying for an AP Manager, VP of Finance, or Director of IT role, these testaments of management material should be noted and put into use, if you want to get picked for that promotion.

Below are some obvious and not-so-obvious traits of good managers that the author discusses.

Where do you fall in this list?

1.  Being a manager isn’t about getting a pay raise and bossing people around.
If you think the old school thought of smoking a cigar and banging a stick on the floor will make you an ideal manager, think again. In today’s world, managers don’t need to micromanage or bark orders. They simply need to coach and listen with finesse and substance.
2.  A manager must be trustworthy.
Being a good manager means holding your head high, instilling integrity and being honest with your employees. People can spot a fake a mile away. Be trustworthy and you’ll gain the respect you deserve – ultimately allowing you to manage effectively.
3.  A manager has to know how to tell the truth about hard subjects.
Management means taking accountability for everyone’s job, not just yours. It’s your job to monitor everything going on around you. You must think proactively and devise up plans to address situations before they arise. If someone messes up, as the manager, you’re responsible for rectifying the situation, accepting the blame and moving on.
4.  A manager doesn’t play victim.
Some people like to sit around and complain about the systems, processes and people in their work life. However, the individuals who can pry themselves away from this negativity and do something positive about the issues at hand, usually rise in the ranks and become management material. Don’t play into “victimhood” and you’ll stand out from the rest.
5.  A manager makes people feel good about the work they do.
Another quality of a good manager is someone who doesn’t put people down in order to build themselves up. Complementing and building camaraderie helps drive results. People like to feel a part of a team and when a good manager keeps the flow going with positive energy, good results are usually produced.
6.  A manager doesn’t have to know the most about a subject.
Effective managers can separate expertise with leadership. Most of the time, a manager becomes removed from the details of the individual roles he or she supervises. Just because someone is a manager doesn’t mean that he or she automatically knows best. Being able to identify the thought leaders among your team and being able to coach them through to the expected results, showcases what it takes to be management material.

Do you agree with the list above? If you have other qualities to add to the list, especially in the accounting, finance and IT professions, comment below and let us know!


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