Teamwork at the office

What to Look for in an All-Star Manager

An excellent manager can make or break a team. Whether you’re in an office, on a construction site or on a football field, the power of good management is evident in the way your team behaves, communicates and performs.

The manager is responsible for guiding your team, setting the standard for what’s expected and what’s frowned upon, and making key decisions. These individuals are crucial to the success of your team. Your people want to do their best work, and they know how much of a difference good management can make. It may be easier said than done, but all you have to do is find the right person to fill those shoes.

In this article, we’ll break down some of the biggest green flags and soft skills to look for in a people manager. If you’re on the hunt for a new manager to empower your team to reach their full potential and lead them towards greatness, this article is for you.

Open to feedback

Taking feedback

Everyone wants to feel like their voice is heard. Not only is being open to feedback a quality your people will look for in a manager, but it may also be better for the business. After all, your people bring their own skills and experience to the table. When a manager knows how to use and implement the skills and experience of your people, that’s when your team can reach its full potential and really do something great. Nobody is too great or too knowledgeable to ask for opinions and receive feedback.

They can coach and play

The main role of a manager is to guide people toward success. But a manager that not only leads but actually does the work is even more valuable. By bringing a high level of subject-specific knowledge to the table, they’ll earn a higher level of respect from team members. They’ll also help the team become more successful. Knowledge is a powerful force, and your people will appreciate being led by someone that really knows that they’re talking about, and can demonstrate it too.

Admit when they’re wrong

Two men having a conversation

Admitting when you’re wrong can be difficult. But when you’re leading a team of skilled and successful people towards a common goal, taking accountability is imperative. If a manager is unable, unwilling, or scared to admit when they’re wrong, your people will see right through it. They’ll lose respect for the manager and may lose their desire to follow that person. Nobody is perfect and we all know it. Showing zero accountability and failing to admit when you’re wrong isn’t winning anyone over or pushing anyone to be their best.

Prioritizes culture

Great managers recognize the power of culture. The culture includes your organization’s values, beliefs, and attitudes, and it can have a profound impact on the way your people show up to work everyday and perform.

The manager sets the standard for organizational culture. If they stay and work until 8pm every day, that’s what others will do and that will become the culture of your company. But if the manager values work-life balance as a cultural pillar, they won’t stay till 8 everyday, and instead will prioritize flexibility, empathy, and understanding.


Calendar with iphone and pencils

Your people manager should have the ability to be flexible. Being able to think on your feet, pivot when necessary and make quick decisions is a super valuable trait of strong management. A flexible manager with their team on the same page will be in a better position to implement different strategies while thriving in new environments and market conditions.


Honesty and transparency are key traits that team members look for in a manager. Especially when the information affects themselves, the team, or the company, they want to know what’s up – and for good reason. One of the easiest ways for managers to build trust with their people is by approaching them and being honest about what’s going on in the company. A work environment where people feel a high level of trust is a productive and healthy one.

Decisive decision making

Overhead view of small group looking over drafting drawing

Last but certainly not least is the manager’s ability to make critical decisions. After all, decision-making is one of the first responsibilities of the manager. Especially during challenging times, your people will look to the manager to think clearly and make confident, informed decisions when it matters most. Guessing, second-guessing, or making half-hearted choices is no way to win over your people. They’ll respect decisiveness and confidence.

If you’re looking to hire the next all-star manager for your organization, STRIVE Recruitment can help. Since 2008, we’ve been helping companies fill key positions in Accounting & Finance, Manufacturing & Operations, Corporate Administration and more. Get in contact with our friendly and passionate team today to get started.