There are many defining qualities that individual must possess and demonstrate for a company to consider one successful manager; education, age, and experience are merely not enough. However, these considerations may vary depending on the size of the team or staff and the type of organization. Besides a proper management and leadership background, being a competent manager comes down to four essential qualities: diligence and hard work, impeccable respect and role model behavior, ability to adapt, and constant development.

Diligence and Hard Work

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Pedler (2013), under his management and leadership study, revealed that active managers gained senior posts regardless of their age at a higher rate than average managers. These managers were considered competent, unlike many of their counterparts. Manager plays a vital role in any business development activities and has a high degree of influence within the organization. For instance, in China, 91% of managers work for 66 hours a week while 20% work seven days a week (Warner, 2013). The statistics suggest that it is not easy to run a business or an organization that demands plenty of energy, time, and dedication i.e. managing a consulting firm where employment terms are entirely performance-based. Managers in such organizations observe strict deadlines to deliver their clients’ projects and most often work outside the regular working hours to accomplish tasks.

A hardworking manager’s main strength is the power of insight and ability to see ahead of others. For instance, Steve Jobs the former Apple CEO returned to the company in 1996 with the primary aim of reviving the tablet PC. Jobs put all of his focus and energy in the company, and his diligence paid off as the PC made record sales, and lifted the entire company from near bankruptcy to become the most valuable successful IT Company in the world. The incredible gift of insight and pure dedication sums up Steve Jobs’ legacy and greatness. The fact that Steve identified a technological weakness and gap in the industry and researched a solution that eventually fixed the infection makes him one of the best to learn from because he sets a good example. He wasn’t known to have graduated from a management school, but ultimately, he goes down as one of the most-effective and successful managers of his generation.

Value staff before anyone else

The other essential quality of a capable manager is the ability to become a role model and maintain a good relationship with the team. The effects of mutual respect and understanding in the workplace are fundamental and great relationship between managers and staff will develop a good sense of belonging to employees. Workers can express themselves freely and perform to their best even without supervision, and it makes the management a lot easier. The company staff looks up to a manager who maintains a good relationship with the employees. Additionally, the manager’s actions and behavior directly influence the personnel hence becoming a role model or mentor which makes him or her a smart leader (Focus on Management Principles, 2005). The more the staff feels the support from the manager, the higher the probability the business will operate successfully. Regardless of the size of the team or type of organization, having a good relationship between the manager and staff is paramount to success.

            Richard Branson, the famous Virgin Atlantic owner, is one of great role model and maintains an excellent relationship with his staff. In his interview with Inc., Branson revealed he was able to make Virgin a global powerhouse by making the employee the main priority before customers and investors. Branson said if employees are hundred percent happy and treated well, they will be proud of the brand and give their all to ensure the company’s success. To guarantee, there is fair treatment of employees and engages with the staff by having a small talk casually in the cabins during his flights. Branson has the pure formula that reads “a happy employee, a happy customer” (Raymundo, 2014). An unhappy employee can go a long way to ruining the company’s brand experience for many customers and investors. The situation directly influences customer experience, and Virgin continues being a world-beater due to Branson’s philosophy of prioritizing the staff first before the customers and shareholders. In the end, a happy employee leads to a satisfied customer and a cheerful investor.

Adaptability

The business world is a highly volatile and unpredictable field. Most times things never go according to the plan, but the best managers and leaders always overcome situations. A capable manager has no trouble adapting to unexpected or new changes (Daft & Marcic, 2010). Flexibility is a vital skill especially when a team looks up to someone. There is a higher chance of an organization achieving success when the manager has no trouble getting around with any circumstances. In fact, any company values a manager who can fix problems by thinking creatively to find a practical solution. For instance, when Evan Spiegel founded the popular social networking site Snap Chat in 2011, Spiegel designed with the sole purpose of offering users the ability to communicate with videos, images and not just a text format.

The photo-sharing application became an instant hit recording ground-breaking numbers of users on a daily basis; statistics show the average user visits the application at least 18 times a day. At the beginning of this year, Snapchat recorded a record of 161 million users (Reporters, 2017). This boom did not sit well with the well-established social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It was only a matter of time before Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced significant changes to take place on Facebook. The trend and the staggering number of users attracted by the video and stories feature on Snap Chat had a considerable impact on social media use. Even recently acquired sister companies Instagram and WhatsApp followed suit and introduced the stories feature; users could now use more than text to communicate. Other attractive features like writing on images and videos emerged. Nowadays, live accounts have taken the internet by storm including media houses and companies that can now stream real-time happenings and events. The ability to adapt to changes and new demands spared Facebook blushes, otherwise, Snap Chat would be the most used social networking site, and that would mean massive losses of revenue and appeal by Instagram, WhatsApp, and co.

Constant development

The fourth and among the most important qualities a great manager should have is the will and ambition to grow and develop. Any individual regardless of their role in the organization should recognize their problems and consistently work towards overcoming them. A competent manager should develop their all-around skills to lead others; and success in any profession comes with personal and career development. Employees learn from their leaders, supervisors and managers and potentially could end up remaining at the same level if their boss does the same.

Just as the market experiences changes, managers should adapt to changing times making use of the other qualities discussed above constant development and learning is essential. Adaptability, flexibility, and growth often go hand in hand. It is unnatural to have one of the qualities and lack the other. Aiming at improving every day with every new project or task that comes and never afraid to work on your flaws and weaknesses to become a better leader or manager. It is difficult to become a successful manager than most people think. You can never learn how to be an effective manager in college because the real-life lessons are in the field. As discussed, successful people did not become competent managers through formal training, but through extraordinary dedication, insight, ambition, and ability to adapt; and make vital decisions whenever needed ultimately makes them the best and most efficient in their respective fields.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this abductive approach shows many qualities define an effective manager. Ultimately, the most successful managers must have the diligence and insight of Steve Jobs, and the hospitability and respect for the staff of Richard Branson, who proved that a competent manager has almost nothing to do with age, experience, or type of organization. In fact, most managers possess the universal qualities but lack the dedication, diligence and good-relationship with their followers and this proves ultimately to be their primary undoing.

Whether organizations have large numbers of employees or just a few, the staff need to feel the personal support, strong relationship with the staff, and attention of their manager to perform optimally and to give their best. Above everything else, the best managers work hard and even dedicate chunks of their time for the best of the company. The supervisors live and breathe the company’s brand and ambition all the time. The critical qualities which include diligence, hard work, team spirit, and respect for employees, exceptional role model behavior, adaptability, and personal development are the thin line which separates the grain from the chaff when it comes to successful managers.