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Successful managers aren’t perfect. Successful managers do get more done, get better results, and have lower retention rates than unsuccessful managers. I don’t know all the secrets of being a successful manager, but I do know seven secrets that can help you be a more successful manager.

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7 Secrets of Successful Managers

Successful managers…

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1) Are comfortable being themselves – Know who you are, and be comfortable with that. Know who you’re not, and be comfortable with that. Take the time to understand who you are, so you’re not surprised by what you naturally gravitate towards, and away from. It’s also very ok to be vulnerable and show pain when you feel it. It doesn’t make you seem weak; it’s truly a sign of strength that you are comfortable enough to be yourself in front of your team. Who wants to work for a robot anyway?

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2) Empower others to be their best selves – Your team is better than they know. Your team is better than ANYONE knows. We’re humans. It’s true! We have greater potential than anyone knows. So ask yourself a few tough questions to know if you’ve empowered your team to be their best selves. Does your team know you’ve got their back, no matter what decision they make, as long as they made a thought out, intelligent decision? Do you believe your team is better than they know? Can your team make a decision without you being there, because you’ve taught them how to evaluate information and make the best decision with the information available?

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3) Set stretch goals for themselves and their team – Meeting easy goals doesn’t help anyone, not long term. Easy goals are tasks, not goals, so take time to set stretch goals for yourself. Share those stretch goals with your team…and then help them set stretch goals for themselves that tie back into the goals of your team as a whole.

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4) Set the example – If you’re coming to work late, your team thinks it’s ok to come into work late. If your team sees you not following the dress code, or being rude to customers, or to other people, then your team thinks it’s ok to treat these people badly. Set the example in all you do, and realize that no matter where you go, the spotlight is always on YOU!

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5) Ask for help when they need itYou don’t know everything. You can’t know everything. So be willing to ask for help when you need it. Ask it of your peers, your manager, and your team. Show your team that it’s good to ask for help, and they’ll ask for help too.

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6) Admit when they are wrong – You’re going to make mistakes, unless you’re not taking enough risks, in which case you shouldn’t be a manager. When you do make those mistakes, admit them. Admit them to your manager, to your peers, and to your team. Apologize, make it better, but admit when you are wrong, don’t cover it up or pretend it didn’t happen.

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7) Don’t worry about who gets the credit – Don’t worry about who gets the credit for things. Share all the credit you can with your team. If your team does great stuff, you’ll look good, and it really doesn’t matter who came up with the idea. If you instead try to snag the credit for every little thing your team does, you’ll look petty and like a glory hound, and your team will stop working so hard to do extra things that would otherwise propel them forward.

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And one more:

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8) Say thanks often and authentically – Make time to say thanks to your team for all the great stuff they do, in an authentic way. Honest, specific appreciation goes a LONG way, especially if you can’t always offer more pay, more time off, or more other benefits.

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Got any secrets for being a successful manager? Share your tips in the comments below!

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