The Great Manager Institute reached out to thousands of entrepreneurs and managers, with support from partners such as Pushstart, to find out the 100 great people managers in the country. There are seven founders, 26 CXOs and 38 senior managers while the rest comprise middle and junior managers. They represent 65 companies of which 34 have made it to our list of the top 55 companies. The list has 83 men and 17 women.
While 21 percent of all middle and junior managers evaluated were women, the final list saw only 10 percent making the cut. This indicates a need to nurture women in those roles as they, at the top level, have shown greater people managerial effectiveness compared to their male counterparts.
“My manager is the reason why I am with this organisation,” reads one of the comments from the 35,000-plus employees surveyed. “I was employee of the quarter and it’s only because of my manager,” says another employee, giving a glimpse into the impact a good leader can have on their team. The list of 100 includes managers from across the country, including foreign nationals with India as their base.
It has people with diverse skills who add colour to the organisation apart from fulfilling their daily responsibilities. For instance, one manager is a stand-up comic in his team while another is known to give insightful speeches. And then there are achievers worth emulating. An executive on the list has built one of the most successful logistics companies in the country and someone else is a veteran in the world of enterprise software. There are entrepreneurs, lawyers, researchers, doctors, chefs and coders as part of the top 100 who possess different managerial skills.
Great managers combine fun with relevant learning. Some of them celebrate their roles through quirky surprises while others do so through well-planned policies. In either case, they focus on the personal or professional development of their team members.
While a good entrepreneur may do the obvious to encourage his staff, a great entrepreneur will work on their careers, both within and outside the organisation. Care and concern for them add to the personal touch. The ability to communicate effectively is the biggest differentiator among great entrepreneurs. Also, they are more approachable and unbiased than other great managers.
A common trait found among the great managers was that they don’t rely on usual practices. There is uniqueness in their approach based on awareness of their style. For example, one manager asks his team members to narrate two truths and a lie they spoke every month to encourage an atmosphere of honesty and ensure the clients don’t suffer.
Strategy and execution of such practices require a deep understanding of profiling techniques and personalised coaching. The successful people managers know that their style is what makes them great. For them, style is the new skill.