Numbers fascinate me. They always have. I guess it’s the scientist in me, or the skeptic. Maybe, it’s because I’m from the state of Missouri and our state motto is, Show Me.

A twenty-five year Gallup study of over eighty thousand managers (that’s right, 80,000) discovered the secrets of great managers. Twenty-five years of studying anything gets my attention fast. On top of that, 80,000 subjects in the sample! I’m impressed. Here’s what the research uncovered.

First, great managers hire employees based on talent, not experience. This flies in the face of the arguments I hear from sales managers all over the country. They want experienced salespeople. Gallup found that great managers look at talent, not just history.

Second, great managers focus on outcomes instead of process. The emphasis is on results-based management. This is the opposite of the micro-manager who concentrates on the steps involved in the process and is present for everyone of them. A focus on outcomes brings owner-ship. They delegate the responsibility, not just the tasks.

Third, great managers concentrate on an employee’s strengths and work around their weaknesses. There’s no such thing as perfection when it comes to people, and great managers accept this reality.

Fourth, great managers treat each employee individually. They understand and embrace the philosophy that there is no such thing as a universal motivator. Great managers tailor their management approach to each employee and use praise generously.

Fifth, great managers clearly articulate their expectations in ways that employees understand. There’s no confusion in these ranks. And their employees rise to these expectations.

Sixth, great managers ensure that their employees have all the resources they need to get the job done. This includes the time, budget, and management support required to perform at the level of expectations that the managers set for them.

It makes sense that great managers create great employees. Are you a great manager?

Author byline: Tom Reilly is a professional speaker and author of twelve books. Tom is literally the guy who wrote the book on Value-Added Selling (McGraw-Hill, 2010), the book that started the value selling revolution. For more information on Tom’s presentations, training, and products, visit his website or call his office, 636-537-3360.

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