What makes a manager successful?

When the 2010 season ends for the Atlanta Braves, they’ll have to make one of the most important decisions in all of sports and business: hiring someone to lead the team.

As you probably know, the Braves’ manager, Bobby Cox, is retiring at season’s end. Replacing a Hall of Fame-caliber manager like Cox will be a formidable task. Cox is respected by practically every player in baseball, beginning with those in his own clubhouse.

He’s also well-liked by the baseball community as a whole, including the umpires who have ejected him from 155 games. Most importantly, he wins, and wins often. He’s consistently great at what he does.

Of course, for every Bobby Cox in the world there are dozens of Billy Martins and Jim Zorns.

The traits that have made Cox successful on the field can easily be applied to managers in everyday office environments. Treating everyone equally and with respect, succeeding with integrity, being a good teacher, listener and motivator, and recognizing the efforts of those around you are just a few traits that come to mind.

By the way, if throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Braves game sounds fun, and you don’t mind showing your mug to millions of people, enter The AJC’s “Thank You Bobby Cox Video Contest” here.

What are some other qualities of a successful leader? Have you ever quit a job because of a particular manager? Tell us about your favorite boss and what he or she did to motive and inspire you.

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7 comments Add your comment

Brain Boyle

May 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

Tell me how much money he makes and never hurt my feeling. Never tell me what to do.


May 23rd, 2010
10:47 am

Tell me what to do and then get out of the way and let me do it.

Larry Orange

May 23rd, 2010
11:55 am

Treating everyone equally and with respect, succeeding with integrity, being a good teacher, listener and motivator, and recognizing the efforts of those around you are just a few traits that come to mind.

Those are good traits to have along with encouraging everyone to succeed. Show everyone what happens when your team , or when you as an idividual , succeeds at a given task. The end result.
And recongizing the effects of those around you is so important. Everyone loves to the appriciated and told what a great job they did. And if you enforce it with a bonus, its just icing on the cake.You would like people to be satisified with what they do , if they love what they do , its just more icing on the cake. It is your job as a manager , in any industry or agency, to try your best to make this happen.


May 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Successful leaders have great interpersonal skills and are sensitive to the needs of their employees. They don’t make knee jerk reactions to those with performance issues – they strive to make everyone better, they express sympathy, they understand that employees are humans and will have personal issues from time to time, they don’t micromanage, they make sure their employees aren’t burned out…….I could go on FOREVER! Bottom line is that probably 95% of a company’s turnover could be directly attributed to the actions and attitudes of its supervisors. Supervisors acquire that position b/c they have been vetted by upper-level management…….the level of trust is through the roof! Highly skilled and intelligent workers will not work under a poor supervisor for long, but no one blames the supervisor…..

I think ALL employees should take a personality/supervisory assessment before being promoted to management. Good job performance, seniority, and friendship………does not a great supervisor make.


May 23rd, 2010
1:04 pm

Enter your comments here


May 23rd, 2010
1:38 pm

Good managers know that there is nothing glamorous about management, but rather management is more of a servant role to their employees. Employees need a manager to supply them with the tools and/or materials they’ll need to perform; employees need their manager to understand when the employee is late for work due to extreme weather conditions; employees need their manager to be patient and rational to hear both sides of any conflict before assessing fault; employees need their manager to remember that good management works for everyone when the manager remembers that it isn’t about belittling employees and tearing them down when an undesirable outcome occurs, but building employees up, giving them avenues and opportunities to professionally grow and improve their skills, and appreciating their indispensible contributions to the company’s progress and bottom line. Very few managers and companies incorporate the outward acknowledgement and appreciation for the daily jobs well done by their workforce. Even rarer when the praise is accompianied by an unexpected, great monetary bonus that further emphasizes good deed.

Want happier, more motivated employees? Provide reasonable, valuable, and achievable motivating benchmarks. People are motivated by two things in the workplace: more money or more personal time off. If budgets are tight and raises are out of the question right now, incorporate an alternating system for good work by giving deserving employees a paid day off on a Friday, after they’ve worked for it–say four ten hour shifts, M-Th, with Friday off. This makes for a relaxing, three-day weekend that could become a planned-for short trip to the beach. Each employee could be eligible on a fair, rotating basis, if this doesn’t disrupt normal shift coverage, and if the employee isn’t providing disciplinary issues.


May 23rd, 2010
2:19 pm

This is a very complex and over-arching question. There are a ton of things that make a good manager. Everyone’s opinion is different, and this simply cant be answered on a blog.