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You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…the facts of the whole spectrum of managers.

Throughout my career, I’ve had my fair share of managers. From the restaurant/bakery/deli manager where I was a hostess, to the CAO of a fortune 500 company where I was VP of marketing communications. Styles, personalities and abilities are all different – most effective, some not. Not all people are born to manage, and not all managers are leaders or mentors.

I had one manager who was great at dating most of his staff and some in other departments, too. It seemed upper management turned a blind eye to the situation, even though it was common knowledge throughout the company. He didn’t overlap relationships and the women he dated didn’t seem to think anything wrong of it and never complained. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of looking around a staff meeting and realizing you’re only one of two women at the table not intimately involved with the manager. That was one of the most dysfunctional and bizarre management styles I ever experienced. While I loved the products and industry, at the earliest chance I moved on to another company where I was hired by one of the best managers/leaders I ever experienced.

When I think about the managers who influenced me in my leadership development, I tend to think of those who were not good leaders first. It is true that you can learn a lot from the poor examples. Often times when I’m faced with a challenge I might think, “What would Mr. Poor Manager do in this situation?” Then I cross his option off my list. I turn my reflection to the styles of the effective and smart leaders I know. I’ll combine that with my training, background and experience to guide me to make smart decisions for my staff, my department and for the company.

Forbes has a list of the Top 10 qualities that make not only a good leader, but a great one. One is never too young or too old to become a great leader. I do think in business you can teach old dogs new tricks if the dog is willing. With the right attitude, an observant eye and a desire to learn, any young professional can prevail early on, and any seasoned professional can turn things around.

Forbes Top 10 Qualities that Make a Great Leader

  1. Honesty
  2. Ability to delegate
  3. Communication
  4. Sense of humor
  5. Confidence
  6. Commitment
  7. Positive attitude
  8. Creativity
  9. Intuition
  10. Ability to inspire