The first common trait of good managers is that they have a system to organize their work. Systems range from very informal, such as a note pad with “to do” lists, to complex computer programs synchronized to a smartphone. The important feature of any such system is that it gives the manager a way to store and retrieve information outside of their head. The best of these systems not only store information, but provide a mechanism for prioritization and a means of reminding the manager about important time-sensitive tasks.

The next common trait is the ability to communicate clearly to the team the what, how, when and why of the tasks needing to be done. The more complex and/or sophisticated the task, the more thorough the explanation should be, and the more need there will be for additional written procedures to ensure that those charged with completing the task can enjoy success. The “why” component of communication is very important, and often overlooked. When team members know why a task is being done, they have a sense of purpose that often inspires them to creatively explore better ways of accomplishing that goal.

--  Brad Ward,  EDN #120



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