What qualities distinguish a good manager from a mediocre one?
Smart, communicative, analytical, tolerant, persistent and strong-willed, able to set and prioritize his goals, formulate his expectations, give good feedback – these are all qualities that your best manager would like to have. In today’s dynamic age, very often long-considered strategies and plans seem prematurely outdated. That’s why you need leaders, not just managers, because unfortunately in general, managers can’t always spark the imagination, provoke the desire to generate innovative ideas from company employees, and give impetus to meaningful realization of necessary changes. The qualities that only one leader can possess are inspiration, vision and passion and they can certainly move a company on the road to success.
Is there a formula that helps build successful leaders in corporate business?
Managers and leaders are very different people. Leaders are very similar in spirit to the artists. They tolerate freedom of thought, ideas outside the box and track. They deliberately do not provide ready answers, thus preventing the discussion from prematurely being closed on an important issue. Managers adhere to the established order and direction, have a control over their compliance and are oriented to quick solutions to problems.
Living in the world of technology and Internet communications, alienation becomes a serious threat both personally and from a corporate perspective. There is a growing awareness of the need for live communication, social networking and leaders who are able to communicate normally, not just through emails, sms and conference calls. Creating an environment free of stress, an environment for immediate human communication and an opportunity to exchange views and ideas is one of the new challenges facing today’s leaders.
In my opinion, the most important thing for a leader to be successful is the attitude to be an innovator, not a follower, to have the courage to choose his own path, though unknown, instead of chasing visible peaks.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned as a manager?
My experience as a manager and as a leader of various teams is very large and varied – from sole trader to minister and deputy prime minister. It will not be too much to say that life has given me lessons every day, sometimes very painful and bitter. What I consider particularly important is that over the years I have been able to create very good teams with which we have realized our ideas and succeeded. The people you work with always understand when you trust them, when you value them and when you want to work with you and not for you. However, the most valuable thing I have learned from life lessons is that you need to be able to inspire the people you work with, have strong positive energy and high morale to succeed.