By Michael Holland     

It’s a beautiful morning in the City of Brotherly Love and I have a fantastic view of the sun rising over the Ben Franklin Bridge.  The bridge is a beautiful suspension bridge connecting Philadelphia, PA with Camden, NJ over the Delaware River.  The same river the great George Washington famously crossed in leading our country into existence.

A suspension bridge’s critical, defining components are two towers that hold enormous cables which suspend over the towers to support the deck below.  Here are the two enormous and critical towers of management that great managers build to be successful.

  1. Great Managers Deeply Understand Their Personal Leadership Style – Your distinct personality style can be leveraged to create a solid leadership style if – and this is a huge if – you are willing to explore, analyze that style in order to know how others are impacted while you are leading in your natural style.  Great managers learn from taking personality and leadership assessments, seeking formal and informal feedback from everyone who will talk with them, and by replaying the video of their interactions.  They learn to tweak their style ever so slightly to exhibit different traits as required by the situation or of those they lead.
  2. Great Managers Build Trusted Relationships – One of the biggest mistakes emerging leaders make is to miscalculate the investment required to create mature, trusted relationships with their employees.  Great managers have learned that relationships take time and trust.  They require a vulnerability that allows for shared experiences to be twisted together like a cable.  Trusted relationships are rare because so few of us are willing to make the investments required.

Great managers become great because they are willing to constantly analyze their impact through self-reflection, seeking to know what little tweaks they should make in order to be more effective.   They fully leverage their trusted relationships in order to cultivate and embrace new leadership behaviors which in turn enable them to grow.

Become a great manager by building one trusted relationship over the next 30 days.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Find a mirror and while gazing at your lovely face, speak for one minute describing your leadership style.  Any insights from this exercise?
  • How do you define trust?  How could you create trusted relationships?
  • Are you willing to pick one employee to be the focus of your trust building? Who is that employee and what steps will you take to build the relationship?