The Entrepreneur Africa

The 10 Behaviors of a Great Manager


Have you ever wondered why Google Inc. continues to achieve remarkable success and growth over the last few years?

Do you desire to see impactful and consistent success in your organization, business and other professional relationships?

Then, let me share with you Google’s secrets:

In 2008, as a way to achieve turnaround success, Google Inc. commenced the training of its managers on some cardinal principles that are central to business growth and development. Called ‘Project Oxygen’, Google researchers applied their earlier findings to the company’s manager development programs which resulted in tremendous positive outputs.

So, here are the 10 behaviors that make a great manager:

  1. He or She is a good coach; Great managers are not simply great performers. They invest the time and energy to coach others. Great managers share best practices so that their teams can grow.
  2. Empowers team and does not micromanage; It’s all about empowerment. What are you doing to empower others on your team and across the organization? Micromanagement is one of the great blunders of poor managers. Give your team space. Be flexible. Sometimes, you just need to get out of their way. No one likes a micro manager.
  3. Creates an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being; Be inclusive. Embrace your team and make them part of the mission. Create an environment where anyone can ask a question, experiment and propose a new idea.
  4. He or She is productive and results-oriented; Results matter, but you need to create a culture in which everyone can thrive to produce the desired results. Show your team how to produce the results that you want. Don’t just set goals and then expect outcomes.
  5. A great manager is a good communicator — listens and shares information; Too many managers fail because they can’t communicate. Communication is not top-down or unidirectional. It’s essential to be a good listener. Invest the time to get in the arena and listen to your team.
  6. Supports career development and discusses performance; Don’t focus on what your team can do for you. Focus on what you can do for them – and how you can work with them to advance the goals and mission of the organization. Career development is essential – give your team the tools they need to thrive. Feedback (positive and constructive) is so important – make sure to get it right.
  7. Has a clear vision/strategy for the team; If the manager doesn’t have a clear vision and strategy, how can the team thrive? It starts with the manager to set the tone and lay the foundation and direction for the team.
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  1. Has key technical skills to help advise the team; Substance matters. Managers don’t “check out” when they become managers. Rather, they get in the weeds. Not only can you help achieve better outcomes, but also you can gain credibility with your team when you demonstrate your technical expertise.
  2. Collaborates across the organization; Your team is not an island. You must collaborate across the organization. You have expertise that someone in another group can use. They too have skills that can benefit you. The more everyone shares, the more the organization rises. Collaboration leads to wonderful synergies.
  3. He or She is a strong decision maker; Analysis is helpful. Strategy is important. Scenario testing provides focus. However, there is no replacement for being a strong decision maker. You can spend unlimited time analyzing, strategizing and scenario-testing. It’s the action that matters.

So what makes a great manager in your organization or business?


The Entrepreneur Africa

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