What does it take to become a great manager in the sports industry?

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Becoming a great manager is not as easy as people may think. It is not a simple case of turning up to work with a set of skills and success landing on your lap. There are many aspects to becoming a good manager, with many requiring considered attention and commitment over time to achieve measured results. Be rested assured though, commitment to building these skills will increase the productivity, relationships and enjoyment within your team and success in your career will follow. Take a look at our 5 tips as to how you can achieve this mantle. 

1.    Motivator 

As well as being a highly motivated individual, a great manager must know how to motivate their team. Some believe that simply engaging with and praising your staff on a regular basis will keep them motivated. Others believe that financial incentives are the best way to motivate staff. The truth is that both can be effective methods because everybody is different and a great manager will recognise the individual needs of their team and act appropriately. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors once said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

2.    Communicator

There is nothing staff want more than to know exactly what is expected from them. The manager should ensure that the individual’s responsibility is understood by gathering feedback at the first stage of the delegation. This way it is easier to clear up any misunderstandings, and disappointment from either party becomes less likely. 

3.    Accountable for Actions

The manager must understand that they are accountable for the work carried out by their staff. If something goes wrong, the manager must be ready to set aside their ego, step into the frame and take the blame, because ultimately, the quality of work coming from their department is the manager’s responsibility. It can take a lot of mental strength to conduct yourself in this manner but as former Olympic Athlete Bruce Jenner once said: “I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.”

4.    Trustworthy

Approaching staff with full honesty is the best way to gain their trust. If the member of staff has a tight deadline or feels they lack the knowledge to complete a task, they should be encouraged and feel comfortable telling their manager they will not be able to do so. This will allow them to work together on finding the best solution. Also following step three will go a long way to encouraging trust in your staff. 

5.    SMART Goal Setter

Setting targets that are SMART rather than unrealistic will lead to an improved performance from all in the manager’s team. Specific objectives are clearly defined and everybody understands what the final outcome should be. Measurable objectives can be tracked and keep all staff informed on the progress being made. Attainable objectives lead to the staff believing they will be successful and completion of the objective will lead to increased motivation. Relevant objectives are less likely to cause conflict as staff will understand clearly why they are working towards that end. Time framed objectives will help staff to set targets within the main objective. This will lead to the staff reaching more goals and benefit from the satisfaction that they are hitting targets.


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