One of the most important decisions a company has to make is who to give the mantle of manager to. Due to the delicate and important nature of that position, you would think that most companies would take their time to get it right. Apparently not. In fact, analysis has shown that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.

Managers who are not good at managing a business can cost the business a lot of money each year. In the same vein, having a lot of bad managers in a particular company can mean the death of that company. On the other hand, businesses that get it right and hire managers based on talent will thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage.

In no particular order here are 10 top rare qualities you must possess to be an excellent business manager:

  1. Active listening

This includes, but is not limited to traits such as listening with feedback, optimistic attitude, motivating ability, and a concern for people. Listening to what is said as well as what is not said is of utmost importance. Nobody likes to be cut off by a supervisor when they are speaking to him so that he can answer a call.

There is more to effective communication than being able to speak eloquently, it also involves the ability to listening effectively and asking questions with the other person’s needs in mind. By putting the focus on others with active listening, these leaders build trust with their tribe and engagement soars.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Empathy, self-awareness, decisiveness, self-discipline, intuitiveness and social competence are all keys to successful leadership and all are associated with high levels of emotional intelligence. Congeniality, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes and relate with others, the ability to read between the lines and analyze the pulse of a relationship or situation, the ability to focus on the positive and refrain from negative and self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, are all elements of emotional intelligence that contribute to managerial success.

3. Expertise in Industry

Even though there are good managers that are generalists in leadership positions, the rare ones do not just know a little about a lot of fields, rather they are experts in a multitude of fields. The best managers are known to be energetic, conscientious, driven, and they spare no efforts to become experts in their field and harness all the information and knowledge and competence they need to maintain an edge over their competitors.

4. Ability to Engage Others

A very important managerial skill is the ability to inspire, motivate engage and generally bring out the very best in others. The best managers encourage leadership in all around them and strive to develop and empower others to assume roles of leadership and responsibility. They are able to propel others to elevated levels of performance through their own energy and enthusiasm and insight and can maximize the strengths and capabilities of their team for the benefit of the whole organization.

5. They drive results by way of compassionate management

In a selfless relationship where a manager pours into and cares for other people, compassion shows up the moment suffering and hardship occurs on the part of an employee. While we are more familiar with empathy, compassion is more objectively defined as “walking a mile in another person’s shoes.” It’s the capacity in ethical leaders to respond in a time of need by doing everything in their power to remove the pain and alleviate the suffering of their employees. Research has shown that in organizations characterized by higher levels of compassion and forgiveness, performance, innovation, customer retention, profitability, and quality all increase dramatically, while employee turnover decreases as a result.

6. Responsibility

A good manager must always take responsibility for his or her action and live up to their responsibilities completely. They stand firmly behind the commitments they make and do not let their teams down; and they never throw someone else under the bus for their own mistakes. They do not have a victim mentality that holds others responsible for their poor choices and deficiencies but stare challenges in the face and confront them head-on.

7. Hard Work and Conscientiousness

Every good manager appreciates the value of hard work and they accept that there are no short cuts. They lead by example demonstrating a stellar work ethic by being the first in the office, the last out and the most productive, persistent and dedicated while at work. The high standards for hard work they have don’t just apply to other people but to themselves as well.

8. Self-confidence

A good manager must have the self-assurance that allows him to risk giant strides, be bold and tough-minded and ‘fall forward’ in the rare instances when they do fall/fail. Good managers do not seek for approval in order to feel satisfied rather, they are motivated by an inner strength, maturity and drive. Managers are very cognizant of their inner strengths, weaknesses and the impact they have on others and are knowledgeable of what they can and cannot realistically do/achieve/influence. They do not wallow in self-pity or guilt over past mistakes or doubt.

9. Integrity

Good managers always make honesty and integrity their watch word because they know that those qualities are the cornerstone of sustainable success. For people to be able to trust their managers, they have to be able to completely trust in his honesty, dedication, commitment, unshakable ethics and high standards and values. Managers who are open, truthful and consistent in their behaviors are more likely to inspire trust, loyalty and commitment in their teams.

10. Willingness to take Risk

A manager should never be too afraid to take risks or make mistakes. However, a good manager should not take reckless risks, rather, the risks they take should be well thought out and calculated. In addition, a manager must always learn not only from the risks and mistakes he or she has made in the past but from those made by others.

In conclusion, research that was carried out by Gallup’s has shown that it is only about one in ten people that possess all these necessary traits. Even though a lot of people have a combination of some of the traits that appear on the list, it is only a fraction of managers that have a unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that significantly improves a company’s performance. When these 10 percent get into a managerial role, they naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity.

Ajaero Tony Martins