‘The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Managers’

I have worked as a coach to both managers and leaders for many years and have learnt a lot along the way including the distinction between the productivity in a team with an efficient manager to a team with a manager that only does the minimum.

More often than not the managers don’t go out of their way to tell you what it is they are doing. So when it comes to people being effective, it’s often something that people don’t really know or understand.

We very rarely model excellence we just tend to be interested in doing the basics. We have all been guilty of this at some point in our lives. But when it comes to moulding a great manager, this mentality needs to change and questions need to be asked such as: who are you modelling? Who are you looking at for inspiration? Who are your role models in management?

I have written fourteen books on personal and professional development and I have also read countless books that refer to bad habits that a person develops throughout their life. One of the most effective books I have read is the international best seller ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. It truly inspired me and several years ago I drew influence from it and formed ‘The Habits of Highly Effective Managers’

The following are the most effective habits of the managers that I have worked with throughout the years.

Be proactive– This is the number one rule, because it is the most important. If you are a manager you want the people you are managing to be proactive, to take initiative, have a positive attitude and look for challenges rather than problems – something that should be replicated in any manager. Ask yourself this, how can the people you are managing be proactive if they are following in the footsteps of a manager that is not?

Begin with the End in Mind
– Any manager that is working on a project is unlikely to be doing it on their own, they will have their team working with them. With any project that you are working on get the team together first and think about the end goal of the project, and with the end in mind ask pre-empted questions such as – how did we do this? What were the obstacles we faced on the way and how did we overcome them?

Put ‘First Things’ First
– Once you have established the end goal, you then need to recognise what the priority is, and try not to over crowd your mind with more than one task at a time. Multi-tasking doesn’t really exist if you look at the science around human behaviour.

Think Win Win – If you want people to follow you and be inspired by you think about making it a win for them, not just for you. If you have the mentality of ‘I need you to do this because if you do I win’ productivity amongst staff will be extremely low. Your staff will lack motivation to go above and beyond the call of duty. Make it a two sided win which the person(s) working on it can benefit from such as giving an incentive, or guarantee their input on the discussion of current and future projects.

Listen First. Talk Second
– This is key to great management but unfortunately is also something that people with authority often struggle with. Everyone wants to feel as if they are a part of something, so the best way to make them feel like this is to make them feel like they have a say in the development of the business. Consult your team regularly and ask the question ‘How do you feel about this?’ to prove to them that their thoughts are being listened to.

Synergise – This is a term that I use regularly in my area of work. For me, in relation to productive management this means working with your team to ensure they are staying on task and making sure that both you and the team are fully aligned with the goals or visions of the project that you are working on.

Sharpen the Saw – This means that as a manager you should always be looking to sharpen your management skills. Don’t get lazy! Take inspiration from other great managers past or present and seek to emulate their enthusiasm and determination. We should never close the door on learning and should regularly ask ourselves how we can become better at what it is we are doing.

Lift Yourself by Lifting Others – And finally look after yourself as a manager, ensure you’re thoroughly hydrated, fit, and are getting your recommended amount of sleep per night. When you take on the role of a manager you also take on the responsibility of being the role model for your team. If you want other people to be inspired you need be in the best physical and mental shape you can possibly be in.


About Pete Cohen

Pete Cohen is one of the country’s leading corporate performance and motivational business speakers, a published author and an established media personality. He has over 15 years’ experience coaching business leaders, executives, corporate teams and sporting stars to achieve their best. He has coached teams from more than 60 of the UK’s foremost companies including IBM, Boots, EDF, Coutts and RBS.