Staff Writer – Katrin Callender

There is a great demand for great leaders in every facet of life. Politics, business, religion, and many other institutions within societies around the world search for persons who can lead with a combination of compassion and firmness.

Even where this individual will not be responsible for making big decisions, the ability to lead is critical. But what of those who will make big decisions. What makes a manager great?

A good manager possesses those qualities that are critical to good business. And this individual will find balance between each quality or know in which situations each should be allowed to dominate.

Management demands that many resources be organized for efficiency and used strategically.  So a good manager is one who identifies the resources available to the company, including its finances and its human resources, and ensures that these are not drained, but handled with care and to the best possible end. These resources can make money or lose it depending on how they are utilized, and a good manager makes certain that the possibility of the latter happening is greatly reduced.

As relates to human resources, a good manager understands people. But that is not all. Recognizing that differing personality types may clash, such a manager will anticipate and be prepared for such contention. Or, anticipating the outcome of pairing certain personalities, will arrange teams with care, determined to get the best result.

In addition to this, a good manager, knows that he is an example to his employees.  As such, there will be a conscious effort to behave in a professional manner. Dress, speech, punctuality and attendance will set or maintain the standard that the organization demands.

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These and other attributes constitute a good manager. It is greatness that is rare. To me, a good manager or anyone in taking the lead in any project becomes great when he conducts self-assessments.

As we toil daily, and develop a routine, we can easily forget to monitor our performance, taking certain things for granted. And this jeopardizes our relationships with subordinates as we may overlook some of the above qualities, which we may expect from our subordinates.

Not only are we not as sharp as we ask them to be, but we may become less considerate of their feelings or fail to support them where we can. Contention soon follows. If we are not exemplars, our mistakes become fuel or ammunition, neither of which has a pleasant outcome.

As I see it, we may all be good when we put forth great effort; but the great among us know that we must be relentless in our desire to learn and grow. We must strive to be at our best, even as we are continuously evolving. We must constantly assess ourselves, to know ourselves and avoid becoming our greatest obstacle.