Becoming A More Effective Manager

management meeting

by Duncan Brodie

Many professional people do a brilliant job at carrying out detailed and complex work. Yet often, when they are promoted into a management role, they struggle. The reality is that you are always learning as a manager. On the other hand there are some actions that you can take to become a more effective manager


Set Clear Goals

Goals need to be clearly stated and be capable of being assessed as to whether we are on or off track. In their book The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson suggest that each goal should be written down in not more than 250 words. Our behaviours determine whether we are moving towards or away from a goal. If we are making progress, chances are we are adopting behaviours that help us. Conversely, if we are struggling, the chances are we need to change some aspect of our behaviour.

How clear do you set goals personally and for those who you manage?

Recognise Successes

How effective are you at recognising your own and others’ successes? We all know how easy it is to focus on what is not working. Imagine that you or your team collected 98% of debts this month. How do you describe this?

  • We collected revenues from 98 out of every 100 customers
  • We failed to collect revenue from 2 out of every 100 customers

What description would be most empowering for you?

How can you start to recognise your own and your team’s successes?

Deal Promptly With Performance Issues

If you were trying to help someone get better at a sport, would you avoid telling them where they were going wrong? Yet when it comes to managing, many people do just that. Giving people specific feedback on performance issues and at the same time telling them how much you value them, helps improve performance and motivation.

What could you change about how you deal with performance issues?

Aim To Maintain Some Work/Life Balance

I received an interesting e-mail from a fellow accountant and coach in the USA on work/life balance in the accountancy profession. On a positive note, it appears that Partners in CPA firms in the US are starting to take this issue seriously. On a less positive note, UK research published recently indicated that almost a third of accountants had been affected by stress.

We often forget (and yes I am sometimes as guilty as the next person) that being effective at work depends on us looking after our whole life. Our eating habits, rest and relaxation, family time and exercise are all important contributors to our effectiveness in the work place or in our businesses.

So where to you need to focus some attention to be even more effective in your work or business?

About the author

If you are ready to become a highly effective manager, I invite you to sign up for my 10 part e-course at

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with professional people who want to excel as leaders and managers and achieve career success