What Does it Take to be a Successful Manager?

What Does it Take to be a Successful Manager?

It's Black Friday, one of the busiest days for most businesses. There are people everywhere in the store. The lines are long and people are either gleaming with Christmas joy or impatiently waiting to hurry up and check out to move on to the next store. All these customers don't even stop to realize how much preparation and cleaning up is involved in this one day. There is shipment to be processed, advertisements to be made, signage to go up, and even scheduling of the right people. So many things have to be done for this big day and it is up to one person or sometimes a team of people, these people are called managers. All managers must have various traits to be successful, but the most important three are; leadership skills, problem solving skills, and honesty.

It was hard for me to pick which three skills where the most important, because they are all so important. I decided to do a survey and asked five people that I knew where managers and five people who where sales associates what they thought where the three most important traits of a manager (see figure 1.1.). Seven out of the ten said leadership skills, and I also agree with leadership being one of the most important. Organization came next with four votes, and honesty came after with three votes each. Problem solving skills came next with two votes then there where a lot of traits with one vote each like; responsibility, prioritizing, understanding, fairness, flexibility, time management, and loyalty. This survey didn't help sway my opinion in which three traits are most important and I actually was surprised in one of my findings.

What does leadership mean to you? What comes to my mind is hard work, responsibility, experience, knowledge, compassion, and taking charge. Not everyone has these traits to be a leader. A successful Manager needs to have good leadership skills. If a staff can't look up to the manager to lead then they more then likely won't be successful as a whole team. For example I work at Rue 21, a clothing store, in the West Ocean City factory outlets. We also have a store in Rehobeth in the Tanger Outlets. The two stores atmospheres are completely different and it is all because of the difference in the management teams. Our Rehobeth store have great people working there but are what I would like to call “burnt out.” I have heard stories from customers who would much rather shop in our Ocean City location then our Rehobeth because of the employees and that our store looks better and is easier to shop. The Rehobeth store has also had a lot of turn overs in their employees and management. Even thought we have had a lot of problems in the Rehobeth store we do have a very loyal store manager who has had to use these next important skill a lot, which is problem solving.

In my survey this skill wasn't rated as the next important trait for a successful manager and only received two votes. In my opinion problems arise every day so it is very important for a manager to have problem solving skills. Rather it be an employee calling in sick or a customer complaining, it is very important to be able to solve a problem quickly and correctly. A slip decision can make or break your business. When you are a manager and a problem comes up your employees are also looking at you as a leader to fix it. Prioritizing also falls in to problem-solving. Recently we had inventory and we also have a new store manager because our old one was promoted to a district manager. Our new store manager isn't familiar with how our company does inventory so that kind of caused problems for us other assistant managers when it came time for preparation for this event. So the two other assistants and myself sat down and wrote a list in everything that needed to be completed, then we delegated out the tasks. Because we decided to look at this problem as a team we were successful in completing everything that needed to be completed to have a successful inventory. This next trait is in my opinion very important for not only successful managers to have but everyone as human beings should have, which is honesty.

I found a certain finding in my survey interesting, which made me want to question more in to it. I found that all out of all five management that I asked this question to not one of them said honesty. The three people who said honesty as being an important trait for a successful manager where sales associates. When I asked the managers again why they didn't say honesty then weren't really sure why they just didn't think it was one of the top three, maybe number four. I thought that maybe since the managers have had experience in management before they came to found that these other traits were more important, and that not everyone can be 100% honest all the time. But from a sales associates prospective honest is one of the most important traits. I agree with the sales associates that honesty is important. We recently had a Rue 21 in Baltimore have all the employees besides two sales associates and including the manager fired. They were all being very dishonest, they were giving away our clothes for free and stealing the clothes and money. So in order to have a successful business it is important to have an honest manager.

Leadership, problem-solving skills, and honesty in my opinion are the three most important traits for a successful manager. A person who is great example who shows all these traits would be my old store manager Latonya. She recently was promoted to a district manager and is well on her way to success. When she was store manager our store wasn't just a work place and we didn't just have employees we had a family. We had a strong team that stuck together. Matter of fact a couple employees would call her mom while at work. Every one cared and looked out for one another. Latonya was a great influence on me and my success in coming a manger. She was a extraordinary leader who believed in all of us. When I think of a successful manager I think of her.