Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 114 – 10 Good 10 Bad Management Traits Exercise & Framework 

Dear leaders, I recently went for a walk and talk coffee with a mentee stepping up to a leadership team. They were a blend of excitement and anxiety about moving to a new company and being able to show their skills. 

We got onto the subject of good managers, bad managers and management traits. Something I suggested, even the worst managers believe they are good managers and will be able to list out a number of traits that makes them a great manager. Many good managers will list off their bad traits, humans are complex. 

Whether you’re starting a new job or becoming a manager or being promoted to a new position, the challenge for everyone’s how to be a good manager and what traits you embrace and those bad habits you mimic from a previous boss, you have to shake.  

I offer one very simple exercise to my mentors and coaching clients and it’s very simple. 

The Exercise 

  1. Find a quiet space where you can concentrate and focus 
  2. Grab your pad and pen, open apple notes or your spreadsheet software of choice and start to think, then   
  3. Write down the ten good traits, the ten that made you stop and appreciate the gesture or the extra thought, the traits like protecting the team when results dipped, something didn’t land or backing you over a senior colleague when it was needed. 
  4. Write down the ten bad traits, the ones you really dislike, that frustrated you or made you question your skills and made your confidence drop. 
  5. When you have finished these, select the five non-negotiables you will use and the five you will never use. 
  6. Write these 5 good, and 5 bad traits out on a post-it note or onto an apple note, you must revisit once a week and ensure these are your management guiding principles. This way you will hold yourself accountable and have a framework that holds you accountable for your management style. 

Something I have done in the past is run through with my team and I asked them to call out my bad traits and hold me accountable.
This takes a complete level of trust but will drive you forward as a manager, build trust and encourage a culture of feedback and importantly improve you as a leader. 

Have a great week and I’ll be back next week with another instalment of leadership advice. 

Danny Denhard

Other Great Free Frameworks To Improve Your Leadership Career