How should I think as a manager

Career & Salary

If companies want to be successful, they shouldn't rely on good managers. After all, good is not good enough in management. Those who are satisfied with it are only doing business satisfactorily. In order to really get ahead, you need excellent managers. Because they manage to double corporate profits.

The better the manager, the higher the company's profit

Studies by US leadership researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman show a direct relationship between leadership quality and corporate profit. They evaluated more than 50,000 executive assessments and determined, among other things: Exceptional executives - according to the studies, they make up ten percent of managers - have a very significant influence on net company profits. Because they generate a profit that is more than double the average profit of the remaining 90 percent. That means: Exceptional executives generate much more economic success than good executives.

This begs the question of who is considered an exceptionally good manager? Indeed, Zenger and Folkman's research has made it possible to see what makes such an excellent leader "tick". Accordingly, 16 competencies are decisive, which in turn can be assigned to the following five behavioral categories:

  1. Result orientation;

  2. Drive change;

  3. Character;

  4. interpersonal skills as well

  5. individual skills

The relationship between behaviors and performance may not always be obvious, but it is crucial. For example, results orientation: a manager who focuses on results and sets goals - be it in content work or in staff management - learns that this focus pays off. The employees who also observe these improvements then follow the example of their manager. The result orientation of the manager creates a positive momentum of its own.

The change initiative is also a behavior that promises long-term success for the company and its employees. It is a prerequisite for the company to keep up with the times and thus maintain its competitive advantage. In today's agile corporate world in particular, it is important to react to changes and thus be flexible. Those who initiate changes on their own initiative are at the fore as a doer.

Excellent leaders are honest

Another observation is that honest executives with integrity are popular, for which the employees work hard. These bosses don't preach what they don't take to heart themselves. They also stand for promises and promises. And they easily gain the trust of others by doing "the right thing" on their behalf. You pay attention to ethical principles and show moral firmness even in difficult situations. With all of this, they create one thing above all: a trusting atmosphere in the company. And this is exactly what usually increases the motivation of the employees.

The same applies to interpersonal skills or interpersonal skills: Exceptionally good managers motivate their employees to be more committed and committed and create a sense of togetherness - by communicating in powerful language, responding to their employees and promoting them. You give them responsibility and, in turn, trust that the employees are "doing it right". All of this does not exactly arise from a hierarchical management style.

Exceptional executives can communicate well at eye level, they are not too good for teamwork. They see themselves more as coaches than supervisors for their employees, and they manage to build good relationships. These, too, are characteristics that are once again important as the agile way of working progresses, which gives employees more leeway to act independently. The ability to build relationships also helps in dealing with customers and business partners, as well as in networking.

The ability to motivate is one of the most important managerial skills

But even excellent managers are only human - and not perfect. There will probably not be a manager who has each of the 16 key competencies. It is also not necessary, because it depends more on the level of competencies: Anyone who excels in some of the key areas has what it takes to be an excellent manager. Steve Jobs, for example, was very controversial in social interaction. But the Apple founder was so outstanding in terms of staging, visionary thinking and creativity that these strengths completely covered up his mistakes.

In addition, Steve Jobs had a key competence that was crucial for leadership: He was extremely good at inspiring others and motivating them to achieve top performance. His success was based to a large extent on this ability, which, according to the studies of Zenger and Folkman, is virtually indispensable for excellent leadership. In the USA, this competence is rated as the most important skill a manager should have, and in Germany it is also one of the top three in the rating of the most important competencies.

Trust employees

Executives who know how to inspire and motivate others are vision-driven: They convey a major goal to their employees and thus help everyone to look in the same direction. In addition, they usually have a positive attitude towards their employees. You trust them, have confidence in them, believe that they will be successful. This means that they can delegate well and let their employees do the work without too much control.

On the other hand, inspiring managers also know that they have a role model function. You are aware that human behavior is shaped by feelings and that feelings can be transmitted. They use this both in personal dealings with employees and in public appearances, when they represent the company externally and when networking. Excellent executives are always relationship managers as well. However, German leaders still have to learn here: when it comes to the ability to inspire and motivate others, according to the studies by Zenger and Folkman, they perform below average compared to managers in other countries.