I do love a good quote. Yes, while I might not profess to knowing much about football, I did always enjoy hearing what Brian Clough had to say next. He’s responsible for one of my favourite quotes to date: 
 
“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one.” 
 
While Cloughie bristled with a well-intentioned level of arrogance (he did christen himself Old Big ‘Ead when awarded an OBE after all), he did have the stats to back it up. He was a great manager, taking Nottingham Forest and Derby County, two of my local sides, to unprecedented levels of glory. 
 
Like I say though, that’s football. Not my forte. But what about management? What qualities are needed to make a good manager in the workplace step up to become a great manager?  
 
Here are a few small tips that can yield big results: 
 
To be truly great – motivate! 
If often seems that HR is just about the bad stuff, disciplinaries and procedures etc, but the best managers appreciate that we are all simple creatures at heart and will often only do things because we want to. The trick is to encourage people to do the less appealing and more difficult tasks alongside the enjoyable ones – and to work hard and do the best job in the process. Encouragement and motivation are key so set achievable goals for your team to work towards. Speaking of your team… 
 
Talk to your team – and act upon what you learn 
Make time to talk with your team members on a one-to-one basis. Find out what they enjoy and are happy with, and what’s on their mind. Don’t just make it a passive chat however. Make sure you round things off by acting on what you’ve discussed and identifying what you can both do to make progress with the issues you’ve talked about. Decide between you when to check back on the results. Take your time with it – a series of small wins can accumulate and combine to feel very empowering and motivating over time. 
 
Put out the praise 
So your team did something well? Of course they did – they’re your team after all! So give them some specific praise. By pointing out something specific and praising them for it, you’ll encourage good results and better working attitudes. Make sure you find one thing to praise each team member for. Make them feel valued and appreciated. 
 
Be a better manager of time 
“They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job” is another Cloughie gem. Good time management is a crucial element to being a better manager – and your own time is just as important as that of your team. Plan your projects wisely but plan your days, weeks and months wisely too. What are your longer term goals and what can you do each day to work towards achieving them? Where is time being wasted? How can you save time and make things more efficient? 
 
Just as Cloughie had many more quotes, there are so many more practices that you can adopt to become a better manager. Hopefully you’ll find one or two of the above useful. 
 
One final thing to remember is to never sit stillkeep learning and developing yourself. I’m always keen to discuss new ideas and ways of thinking and would love to hear what you think makes a good manager. 
 
Drop me a line and let’s chat. 
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