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Five Things that Great Managers Do to Increase Productivity

What makes a great manager?

Ann Raines, associate director, CBI Leadership Development,

CBI Leadership Development

Over more than twenty years, it has been my distinct pleasure to work with managers and leaders in local and national organizations, and a message comes through clearly about what works best for most in regard to winning the will of their followers toward high productivity.  In David Letterman style, I am pleased to share my perspective on the five things make the most significant difference that great managers do. 

5.  They advocate for their employees regarding resources, training, ideas and challenges.  They make sure that, to the best of their ability, barriers to productivity are removed and all the necessary tools and information are present.

4.  They set goals that are realistically challenging; not impossible, but certainly requiring some stretching from the employees.  Goals are set with employees.  Expectations are set before they can be disappointed.

3.  They provide feedback that is useful, constructive, and frequent.  Through the feedback, they demonstrate respect and appreciation for who the employee is and what the employee has done.  Conversations focus on development of strength.

2.  They know their employees, specifically what strengths they possess, what motivates them, and how best to communicate with them.  Utilization of personnel decisions are made based upon the unique personalities and talents of the individuals.

1.  They listen.  More than they speak, they listen.  They ask great questions and commit to hearing whatever answer they are given.  Everything above would not be possible without this one.  Great communication starts with great listening.  It is easy to fill in what we don't know with assumptions, but the truly great managers and leaders don't need to do that because they know the importance of active listening, and how to do it.

To learn more about ways to become a great manager, or to sharpen your existing skills, consider attending CBI's Management Certificate Program, which is a series of one day workshops scheduled throughout the calendar year. We kick off another round of this program on September 11 with Basic Management Skills. For more information about this or any CBI Workshops, contact us at

There is also still time to register for the 2018-2019 Leadership Lehigh Valley (LLV) class. LLV is designed to teach participants how to be leaders at work and in the community. It's intended to encourage personal development that will potentially inspire them to take on projects, be part of community organizations as well as heighten self-awareness and hone professional and community leadership skills.  

The program consists of 12 sessions, held over a ten month period.  There are six focus areas for participants, who are placed in teams and given a mentor and a topic.  The sessions include presentations by community leaders and Lehigh Valley excursions. To learn more or register, please click here or contact Ann Raines at 610-861-5431 or