Becoming an Outstanding Manager

-By Sally Whitesell for AutoSuccess Magazine

Do you think a sports coach would be a great manager in the car industry? A truly great manager is able to manage their team effectively and coach individuals, all the while leading by example. Great coaching does not include throwing chairs or stomping up and down the sidelines (although I must admire a coach’s passion) but it does include taking pride in your team’s success and development. One way to develop your team is to provide outstanding leadership.

There are many misconceptions about what qualifies a person for a leadership/management position. Often this decision is made based on the following:

  • Longevity with the company
  • Ability to be punctual
  • High customer satisfaction
  • Manages his or her time well
  • Is a consistent top producer

Maybe one of these reasons is why you got the job? These are all outstanding qualities, but they don’t necessarily signal an ability to coach and manage a team. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

First, you must earn respect from your team as they observe you making an investment to develop great players which will lead to increased business and production. They will understand that you are in a position of authority, yet if they follow your lead, you will not need to use that authority often.

Without a leader there will be chaos as everyone develops their own system for handling your clients. The second thing you must do to become an outstanding manager, is to guide your team by setting clear expectations of your team right away. This will eliminate misunderstandings and establish you as a strong leader.

A great coach does this by:

  • Setting clear policies and standards while making sure each player understands the goals.
  • Not accept anything less than personal best.
  • Holding individuals accountable to give 100% of their effort not only to improve, but also to work well with others.
  • Offering guidance, direction and encouragement that will educate and motivate.
  • Offering consistent training while rewarding personal growth.
  • Not being afraid to correct and even reprimand poor performance or a reluctance to follow processes.
  • Holding themselves to the same standards as everyone else.

Having the ability to confront people with compassion while you are pointing out areas that need improvement is an important part of gaining respect. Being able to explain company policies and hold people (including yourself) accountable is a big part of being a leader. No matter how good your numbers look, how educated, experienced, or talented you may be, how you treat your people tells all.

“If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” Paul “Bear” Bryant

Look around and see if your team is successful due to your great leadership. If not, it’s time to consider some changes.

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