Do you want to be the best manager? Here are key areas to pay attention to and you will be well on your way!


Are people getting things done and on time? This is an important indicator to look at. Many factors will impact work quality. If work is not getting done on time step back and look at the management system in place or lack of one. Do you have a regular process for establishing goals, measuring progress, and getting feedback? Do people seem to be enjoying their work? Are people set up to collaborate vs. competing vs. one another? These are just key factors which could be impacting how productive people are.

Loyalty and dedication

Do people seem proud to work in your organization? Are they telling others about how exciting it is to work here? Do people seem loyal to their work? Are they always giving ideas on how to improve, develop, and work better? Is there lots of energy in the environment? Do people seem to work well together? Loyal and dedicated workers will show it in many ways. You have to watch closely for the signals that people are proud to tell others where they work.

Good ideas, positive behavior and relationships with peers and customers

Do people seem to enjoy talking to customers, solving problems, submitting new ideas? Are relationships improving in the organization? Do people seem to enjoy each other? Or it is opposite, and you always hear negative stories about customers and conflicts between people at work. These are signals that something is wrong in the system. When good ideas are flowing, people look forward to talking to customers and relationships are growing and thriving, then this is a good sign that your management system is working well.

People who use their abilities and knowledge for the good of the organization

If you look around at the people you manage, does it seem like their abilities and interests are in alignment? Do you even know? The best manager will have an inventory always available reflecting what people are good at doing and also motivated to do. The best manager will know what types of roles people are interested in and when putting teams together will maximize these matches. If people are just doing jobs because they have to not because they want to, the management system will gradually break down and become stagnant like a garden which has not been tended to.

Continuous improvement

Do things seem to be improving, day to day, month to month, and year to year? Are business indicators improving? If not, these are again signs of trouble in the management system. Any system will gradually improve if it is paid attention to in positive ways. This same system will also decline rapidly if ignored or not developed. What are the processes being used in your organization to continuously improve the organization and its people? Without specific actions toward continuing improving the management system, it will soon decay and lose all momentum for positive healthy change.

Conflict among people

Is there lots of conflict among people on a daily basis? If so, this is a sign of an unhealthy organization. The healthiest organizations I see are the ones where there is much communication and noise. People are standing on chairs speaking over cubicles, smiling, laughing. The unhealthiest organizations I have observed are the ones where you can walk down the halls and hear only the clicking of keyboards and people are sending emails while sitting next to each other. Much of the conflict at work is based on a combination of systems which place too much focus on reward, punishment, and competition between people. Additionally, people who don’t find joy their work will also take this out on others. Reduce these factors and you will also reduce the conflict in the organization.

Teaching others how to motivate vs. trying to motivate

The biggest mistakes managers make is trying to motivate others. It is simply not possible over the long term. Better to invest time in education and teaching others how to motivate themselves from the inside out. It will last longer and benefit the organization over a longer period of time. No program of the month will motivate others. Best approach is to ask people what motivates them if you want to understand them.

Develop people

In life and in organizations, people either feel like they are moving forward or standing still. When people feel like they are not growing, they retreat, hide, and no longer contribute to the greater organizational cause. However, when people feel like they are growing, then their overall contribution becomes more valuable, their energy at work increases as does their positive behavior and relationships with peers.

What does the best manager pay attention to?

Now you know!!!

I’ll be cheering you on as you go!

Craig Nathanson

Author's Bio: 

Craig Nathanson is the founder of The Best Manager , workshops and products aimed at bringing out the best in those who manage and lead others.

Craig is a 25 year management veteran, Executive coach, college professor, author, and workshop leader. Also, Craig Nathanson is The Vocational Coach helping people and organizations thrive in their work and life.