Qualities of a Great Manager

Dave Charles – ByrnesMedia

Over the years I’ve worked for some good, bad and not so great managers.

The ones that I remember offered me solid perspectives through my formative days in radio.

I talked to many radio managers in Canada recently on my return to Canada. As I chatted about their agendas and style of operation, I discovered the following: I found that many of the same values that define a great manager are well worth talking about, so here goes.

A good manager is the creator and keeper of the business strategy.  If a business doesn’t have a plan, it’s difficult to function in today’s market place where brand and product definition is paramount to success and viability. A good manager will always stay true to and champion the strategy and defines the company’s position and business goals.

A good manager makes time to teach and motivate. So many forget that they must be responsible for the growth, training and leadership of their teams.  In Australia we called it management by ‘walk about’.  This meant that a good manager made the rounds to talk to team members about their work and what’s really happening.  Managers who lock themselves in meetings and endless phone calls lose a feeling for how their team is performing.  Managers who get out on the floor can often resolve so many little problems before they become big ones. 

Team meetings are essential.  Good managers have meetings to catch up on what’s going on, define the daily, weekly and quarterly priorities and get input from their teams.  They also make it a habit to check in at the end of the work day to follow up on critical issues that required guidance and solutions. This also helps set up the next day’s priorities. 

A good manager is open to new ideas.  New ideas from the team are often valuable ways to execute the strategy and make necessary adjustments.  Most good new tactics that support the strategy often come from team members.  A good manager knows when to act on a new idea. Most managers are time poor and often forget that their business is being impacted by rapid change.  A great manager also knows how to reward a good new idea with fun perks as a way of saying more than ‘thank you’.

Good managers have an eye for talent.  Recruitment and new opportunities can take their toll on good talent.  Great managers usually have a back-up for every key position.  Managers who do this are able to help recruit new and worthy talent in every key position.

This requires networking and time to keep in touch with the up and coming stars in our business.  I remember getting a call in my programming days from a few managers who suggested that they’d have a position for me in the future.  That always made me feel worthwhile and wanted. 

To be a great manager, you’ve got to possess many strong qualities to succeed in today’s complex media environment.   You are keeper of the strategy, you manage the budgets and drive the business forward and you grow and develop your human resources. 

As new ways to advertise increase, radio will be faced with having more and more inventory to sell.  As a manager, you constantly must define and demonstrate the real value of radio to your customers who are both advertisers and listeners.

ByrnesMedia provides management training and perspectives at all levels of the radio business.  Let us help you to succeed through knowledge and training. 

Call Chris Byrnes at 1-866-332-1331 and book your session now.