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Lead Your Team Managing

5 Personality Traits Great Bosses Share

5 Personality Traits Great Bosses Share
Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock

Not all managers have what it takes to be great leaders: Just 10 percent of people have the talent combination required to be excellent managers, while another 20 percent have some of the talents but need the right coaching and development to become successful, according to a Gallup report.

Moreover, the research shows that only 18 percent of current managers have the high talent required of their role.

"Authentic management talent is rare," Jim Clifton, CEO and chairman of Gallup, said in the report.

According to the research, great managers possess a rare combination of
five talents:

  • Motivation: Great managers motivate all of their employees to take action and engage them with a persuasive mission and vision.
  • Assertiveness: They have the assertivenessto drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  • Decision making: Great managers make decisions based on productivity, not politics.
  • Accountability: Top managers develop a culture of clear accountability.
  • Relationship building: They build relationships with their employeesthat create trust, open dialogue and full transparency.

Managers with these five traits can help businesses succeed. The study revealed that companies that hire managers based on these five talents see a 48 percent increase in profitability, a 22 percent increase in productivity and a 30 percent increase in employee engagement. Additionally, these businesses experience a 17 percent increase in customer engagement scores and a 19 percent drop in turnover. [7 Things You Can Do Every Day to Become a Better Leader ]

In addition, the research discovered that high-talent managers take a strengths-based approach, which leads to greater levels of employee engagement and well-being, as well as increases team productivity and profitability.

Gallup recommended several strategies to help businesses hire and develop more successful managers:

  • Prioritize talent: Because the study shows talent is the greatest predictor of performance, companies' talent should be connected to how they align, attract, recruit, assess, hire, train and develop managers. Organizations must understand what success looks like in every managerial role and strategically think about how each hire fits into their goals.
  • Grow leaders: Promoting employees into managerial roles because they have previously been successful or with the company for a long time is a flawed strategy. Businesses should develop career paths for employees based on talent rather than title, as each position requires a different set of talents.
  • Pay for performance: Regardless of their role, top performers deserve the highest salaries. There is nothing wrong with a system that pays some employees more than their managers. Businesses create an environment in which employees constantly compete for roles that don't suit them when they connect pay to managerial status.
  • Stress improvement: When employees become managers, it doesn't mean they should stop learning. Managers at all stages of their careers should have opportunities to grow, and organizations must provide them with the resources, tools and support they need to refine and cultivate their strengths. This can happen through mentoring, coaching, group classes, conferences or online learning. The best managers always strive to improve, and their employer should encourage them to do so.

The report was based on more than four decades of extensive talent research, a study of 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries and an analysis of the engagement of 27 million employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.