Regardless of industry, company size, or team makeup, there are two hallmarks of a good manager: discipline and transparency.

For some, the traits of being a good manager are innate. Some people are naturally good at holding themselves and others accountable. Some have a meticulous attention to detail, can multitask extremely well, or can quickly pivot from one task to another without letting anything slip through the cracks.

Discipline is a manager keeping his or her team's day-to-day tasks (as well as their own) on pace to hit a goal. It's doing what you say you're going to do and when you said you're going to do it by. It's holding people accountable and following up with employees on what you asked them to do. It's having tough conversations the moment they're needed or letting someone go when it's time to part ways.

Discipline means being able to set long-term goals and having the stamina to achieve them. It's sticking to the pre-determined start and end times for meetings, and not allowing those who come late to sit in. It's not accepting excuses.

The other trait, transparency, is just as important and something many seek from their bosses. Transparency is letting people know where they stand. It's open and honest communication about what's going on in the organization, and on the team. It's creating a strategy of how something will be achieved and being sure everyone understands and is on board. It's having an open-door policy. It's being available. It's not sugarcoating. It's being real.

There are so many examples of great leaders--great developers of people and talent--who have these two traits and have helped their teams achieve unbelievable things. Take any sports team that's won a championship, as well as some of the most iconic business leaders. When you drill down on any historic victory, many success stories boil down to discipline and transparency.

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Published on: Feb 8, 2019
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