Simple Test: Are you a good manager?

good manager

Is every manager in your company a good manager?

If you want to positively impact the bottom line in your business, insist that all your managers are good managers.

Bad managers wreak havoc. Bad managers cost growth and profit. And I can tell you — there a lot of bad managers out there.

I know this first hand because I regularly interact with leaders from companies in many industries, from all over the world, who are asking for help in how to deal with the ugly, soul-crushing problems that arise from having a bad manager.

Here’s a sampling of bad manager behaviors I’ve been seeing lately:

  • Poor communicators
  • Sometimes backstabbing or undermining employees
  • Lack of decision making (will or ability)
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of support
  • Poor planning and resource management
  • Unwilling, unable to give constructive feedback or deal with performance issues
  • Prevention of opportunities for development and visibility (either active or clueless)
  • Lack of ability to understand and make tradeoffs
  • Can’t stick to a long term plan, crisis driven
  • Solely politically motivated
  • A bully…

…this list goes on and on.

It will serve your business well to make sure that you select, support, train and set expectations about what is required of a good manager in your organization.

On my Coaching Hour calls for my FORWARD program for leadership and professional development — I hear so many stories of truly bad managers from the leaders who attend. It’s easy to see the negative impact on the person who would otherwise be committed and productive. They are looking for help so that they can still be committed and productive, despite being tortured in some way by their bad manager.

With bad managers lurking about in your organization, people who should be doing work are instead getting confused, discouraged, frustrated, scared, and are simply not doing the right things for the business.

You need your managers to be engaging, motivating, supporting and facilitating the right work, not preventing it.

This is one of my favorite types of work to do with corporations — to train their managers to be good managers — because it makes such a huge difference not only to the business, but to the health and sanity of everyone involved!

Here’a a quick, “Are you a good manager?” Checklist:

Every manager should be able to get a YES answer from each of their employees on the following questions:

  • Do you understand the strategy of our business?
  • Do you understand the mission of your team and why it is important?
  • Do you understand how your job fits into that mission?
  • Are you strengths acknowledged? Do you get to use your strengths in your work?
  • Do you know what is expected of you? Do you know how you will be measured? Did you have input into this process?
  • Do you feel acknowledged and recognized by your manager?
  • Do you feel informed and in the loop about information that is relevant to you and your work?
  • Do you feel like you can work without fear?
  • Are you excited about something you are working on?
  • Does your manager help you network?
  • Does your manager encourage you to meet his/her boss and peers?
  • Do you feel like you can deliver agreed outcomes without being micromanaged?
  • Do you feel like you can give your manager feedback without fear?

If you’d like to learn more about my FORWARD program for leadership and professional development or my training workshops for mid-level managers, contact me I’d be happy to talk with you about your business and your managers.

Also I offer a webinar on this topic which offers lots of practical advice.
Check out the webinar: Are you a good manager?

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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.


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You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

Shut Your Monkey: Productivity, Creativity, and Stress
Too Busy to Scale