Nice guys finish last? Not anymore. There’s a misconception in the world of commerce and business that in order to be a good manager, people must shed affable behaviour; become immovable, stern and domineering.
Yet as Dean Gualco, 20-year Human Resources manager for the city of Lodi, N. J., and author of The Good Manager: A Guide for the Twenty-First Century Manager (iUniverse) notes, those characteristics that encapsulate decent individuals personally are actually the exact same traits executives should embrace.
“The most important attribute that will most likely determine your success or failure as a manager is the ability to be a good person, one who is incredibly kind-hearted, controls their most destructive human emotions, tells the truth, does what’s right and always looks for the good along the road of life,” he asserts. “If you want employees to be decent and honourable, you must be decent and honourable. It is too often missing in a person and a manager.”
Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, it is. As The Good Manager illustrates, from administrators hoping to cast off a heavy-handed image to those avoiding it entirely, in the pursuit of altruism, one doesn’t require decades of experience and a degree in organizational management.
Instead, respected leaders need only focus on six basic principles common to the most effective managers: Like what you do, be knowledgeable about your job/industry, possess solid organizational abilities, work hard, make work fun and, most importantly, be a good person.
When coupled with a genuine interest in employees, Gualco believes his process benefits not only current and future managers but also staff who seek a better understanding/appreciation for their directors. As a bonus, he notes that the merits of strong leadership tactics also extend into one’s personal life.
“(These fundamentals) motivate people along the intellectual and moral spectrum from self-interest to human interest, negativity to positivity, darkness to enlightenment, hate to friendship and from evil to good,” he declares.
However, Gualco’s vision holds up well, yet scholastic analysis prompts a strong caveat from Lisa Guglielmi, MEd, CHRP Professor for Seneca College’s Centre for Human Resources and Coordinator of their Human Resources Strategy And Technology Degree.
Agreeing with his overall goal of improving employee/managerial relationships via a set of criterion, she stresses the need for deep understanding of business practices in order to succeed. It takes more than just being a “nice guy” to get ahead.
“I believe a good manager must demonstrate an authentic concern for the people who work for them in order to build trust and move people to action,” she notes, imploring those looking to better themselves as leaders to ensure they embrace Gualco’s second principle — know your job/industry — in order to create the best possible environment. “Integrity is key. The importance of knowing the business, of being a visionary cannot be underestimated.”