11 Highly Effective Habits to Become an Outstanding Manager

Becoming an effective manager takes time to develop the necessary skills and qualities. However, you can accelerate your learning by cultivating strong habits that will make your life as a manager much easier. In this article, we will explore the 11 key habits that can help you quickly transform into an exceptional manager.

These habits are based on over 20 years of combined managerial experience, including managing teams of up to 66 people. By adopting these approaches, you too can establish a reputation as an outstanding manager who achieves high standards.

Take Ownership of All Situations

Successful managers always take ownership of all situations within their remit. You will never hear an effective manager blame others saying, “That’s not my fault” or “That’s not my team’s fault.” They take responsibility for all outcomes, positive or negative.

Once you start to take ownership, your team members will follow suit. This creates a culture of accountability rather than finger-pointing, leading to greater productivity.

Set High Standards From the Beginning

Set high standards for yourself and your team from day one. This shows that you will not settle for anything less than excellence. It’s much harder to raise standards later if you start out low.

Taking pride in your work and holding high standards encourages your team to do the same. People rise to expectations, so set the bar high right away.

Continuously Strive to Improve

Outstanding managers never believe they have reached the pinnacle of their career. At any stage, there are always opportunities to improve your skills and gain new knowledge.

Ways to continually improve include reading business and management books, listening to podcasts, taking online courses, attending conferences, and more. The day you stop trying to get better is the day you start to decline.

Listen More Than You Speak

Great managers understand that listening is even more important than speaking. Listening gives you more options by providing vital information to inform your decisions.

Just because you are the manager does not mean you need to dominate conversations. Listen more than you talk to gain crucial insights from your team and others.

Build a Support Network

Effective managers purposefully develop a network of supportive contacts including team members, stakeholders, other managers and more. Treat people well so they will be there for you when needed.

By building strong mutually beneficial relationships, you create a safety net to assist you during challenging times. Nurture your network consistently.

Sometimes Do Nothing

Doing nothing can be the best decision when facing a tough situation. As a manager, you may feel pressure to make choices right away. But often it’s wisest to wait and see what happens.

Letting a scenario play out gives you more data to make an informed decision later on. You don’t always have to act instantly unless absolutely necessary. Wait for clarity.

Master the Art of Filtering

Managers face a deluge of incoming requests from above and below. You cannot do everything at once. Master the art of filtering by creating a prioritized to-do list.

Tackle the most urgent and important tasks first. Let the less critical items wait. Your team will appreciate you focusing on what matters most and not getting distracted.

Get to Know Your Team Members

Make an effort to understand your employees on an individual level. Have conversations to discover their strengths, weaknesses, preferences and aspirations.

This knowledge enables you to play to their strengths when delegating. You can also provide personalized coaching and development opportunities to help team members accomplish their career goals.

Seek Feedback and Learn From It

Highly effective managers regularly request feedback then filter it to extract valuable insights. They are not afraid to ask how they are performing and what they could be doing better.

Carefully considering constructive critiques allows you to capitalize on opportunities for improvement. Seek honest appraisals from your network then implement suggested changes wisely.

Make Decisions Based on Facts

When confronted with difficulties avoid reactive, emotional decision-making. Take time to calmly gather all the facts of the situation first.

Sleep on it if you must. Rash choices often lead to poor outcomes. Once you have all the objective information, you can make level-headed determinations leading to the best resolutions.

Have a Mentor

Outstanding managers recognize that having an experienced advisor helps them progress quicker. A mentor assists you in avoiding common pitfalls while expediting your development.

If possible, secure a mentor either within or external to your organization. Let this guide provide you with invaluable direction to rapidly take your management skills to the next level.


Implementing these 11 key habits positions you to excel as a manager capable of producing exceptional results. Commit to continually improving, holding yourself and team members accountable, making informed choices and more.

Adopting these approaches distinguishes truly great managers from the average ones. So be relentless in your self-development journey. Follow these guidelines to establish yourself swiftly as an outstanding manager that others aspire to be.