How Do We Identify an Extraordinary Manager?

How Do We Identify an Extraordinary Manager?


Managers are the pillars that support an organization because they have the ability to motivate the employees and influence change to the top executives. As you probably realized by now, managers are not all the same. They vary in their effectiveness to lead and their ability to create change. Here, I will talk about what it means to be a regular manager and how you can be an extraordinary one.

Being a regular manager requires four key skills:

1. Communication: A manager should be comfortable speaking in front of others. Having this ability makes meetings more efficient, presentations more impactful, and instructions more straightforward. Additionally, communication takes a lot of adapting since communicating with different departments is essentially working with different work cultures (depending on the size of the organization), so being able to speak the language of accountants and marketers is a crucial skill to have.

2. Collaboration: Being able to work with other teams effectively is another crucial skill to have. This comes with an understanding of corporate politics and building positive relationships. Having the ability to work effectively with other teams will improve the pace of projects and strengthen team dynamics.

3. Project Management: The ability to manage a team and delegate work accordingly is important for project management. An effective manager will be able to create a realistic timeline for a project and motivate his or her team to abide by it. Another form of project management is talent management- the ability to identify which members of a team are suitable for which jobs- is a skill that takes years to develop. Although some members may be better at certain jobs, their morale may go down if they’re put into a position they dislike.

4. Critical Thinking: A managerial title is trivial unless he or she is respected by colleagues. Dedication to a firm is critical, but so is critical thinking. Managers that are constantly educating themselves on the industry and creating new ways for an organization to grow, he or she stand out. Critical thinking also comes with strategic thinking, as thinking long-term is a crucial mentality to have.

An extraordinary leader, on the other hand, excel at the four skills listed above and naturally possess these five traits:

1. Courage and Confidence: It’s easy for a manager to get comfortable in an organization, but it’s important not to succumb to this sense of security. Regardless of how well the business is doing, extraordinary managers will challenge status quo and constantly find ways to innovate the company.

2. Emotional Intelligence: The ability to connect with your subordinates is critical to fostering a positive work environment. Creating a positive work environment that motivates and encourages self-discovery will only make an organization stronger, whereas putting undue pressure and stress on others will deteriorate their quality of work in the long-run. Emotional intelligence also enables managers to connect with others through humor. Being light-hearted and open to others’ personalities will create a positive work culture and build employee morale.

3. Authenticity and Honesty: Although a workplace should have a professional atmosphere, a manager’s ability to connect with his team members on a personal level while remaining professional is an important quality to have, as this creates a fun work environment and builds trust. One of the most critical elements to building a trusting relationship is being authentic and honest. Apple Inc. would not be the multi-billion dollar company it is today without Steve Jobs saying “no” to a few people. Keep in mind that criticizing others’ work is a skill in itself.

4. Creativity: Creativity is not an easy asset to possess or learn. It’s a unique quality that comes from the manager’s style of thinking. This can be influenced with more books and more experience. Creativity can be derived from an array of experiences (personal and professional). This includes understanding the different industries, reading different categories of books, traveling, and more.

5. Leadership: Being an extraordinary manager means understanding the difference between a manager and a leader. According to Professor Warren G. Bennis, “Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.” In simpler words, managers manage and leaders lead, and leading means inspiring others to do things because they want to, not because they have to. Lastly, leaders also understand that their opinions and ideas aren’t always right for the company, so they listen. They listen patiently and respectfully to others’ and empower the employees to make an impact in the organization.

When individuals are put into a management position and feel they aren’t prepared to lead, they turn to KNOLSKAPE’s professional development programs. We offer immersive simulation products suitable for people interested in leadership and strategy, sales and marketing, technology management, finance and accounting, and programming.


KNOLSKAPE’s award-winning simulations uses experiential learning and gamification to attract, grow and retain talent. Global Fortune 500 companies and Top-10 B-schools use KNOLSKAPE’s products and solutions for on-boarding, training, assessments, and talent engagement strategies.

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KNOLSKAPE is a global leader in experiential learning with a mission to help organizations and employees become future ready. Using a large award-winning portfolio of simulations aligned with 100+ competencies and cutting-edge talent intelligence, KNOLSKAPE produces stellar outcomes for more than 375+ organizations across 75 countries. Driven by research and thought leadership, KNOLSKAPE offers its products and solutions in a flexible subscription model powered by omni-channel delivery.

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