The magic of an Inspirational Manager

A great manager is key to your success so find out more about them before you commit to a job. And if you are a manager, work on being inspirational - it'll pay off big time!

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I’m asked lots of questions about the challenge of moving jobs and finding the right career. People are on the move, wanting something different, better or more.

As I think about my response, I always wonder about the managers being left behind. How do they feel about the people who are going? Are they relieved, concerned, or worried about filling the gaps?  And do they ever think about their contribution to the situation?

70% of people leave their managers rather than the job, according to Gallop. 

That’s horrendous!

As a leaver, you might be desperate to grow your career or develop your expertise. Maybe you’ve got stuck in a team where colleagues don’t pull their weight and no one’s doing anything about it. Or maybe you just need regular information about the business, but nothing is forthcoming. Your manager is key to change for the better and if s/he isn’t interested in taking action, it’s easy to see why you would decide to move on rather than languish where you’re not happy.

But if you’re a manager, life is equally tough. Demands rain down on you and the pressure never let’s up. Your team don’t deliver as you need them to, so you take on more yourself just because it’s easier. Direct reports are demanding, numbers have to be delivered and you are totally exhausted by it all. Never mind having bright sparks like me writing blogs that claim you’re the reason why people leave!

There’s a win/win in here

I’ve worked with a vast number of managers over the years and I can honestly tell you that there’s a win/win in here.

When doing the research for my book Inspirational Manager I met the best managers from the best companies, plus their teams and their own managers to understand what they actually did. My first question was about their results and what i heard was music to my ears:

  • They consistently outperformed on the teams agreed objectives.
  • They had the lowest sickness rates in the business.
  • They had the highest employee retention – people really didn’t want to leave their teams.  

And they did all this by building really strong relationships with their people. Not cosy, ‘best friend’ relationships that meant they couldn’t speak out for fear of upsetting anyone, but tough, fair, demanding relationships that people really valued.

And this is why the best people queued up to work with them. which in itself led to a virtuous circle – get the best, treat them right, set demanding standards they can be proud of and the sky’s the limit. And that's how they and their teams deliver better results than anyone else 

I was amazed at how often people told me ‘I love my manager and I’ll do anything to have them be successful.’ Wow – what a comment! Wouldn’t you love to work with someone who inspires that in people? And wouldn’t you love to be the manager they’re talking about?

So if you are thinking of moving, take a moment to consider whether there is anything you can do to improve the relationship with your existing manager. Talking about what you need and telling them what you have to offer might just improve your lot. If that doesn’t work, stick out for an Inspirational Manager. They are worth their weight in gold and lead to a happy and fulfilling work life and career.

And if you manage a team and feel fed up with the constant pressure, take some time out to re-align. The first step to being an Inspirational Manager is to recognise that people are your job. They’re not just an irritation that interrupts your real work. As soon as you get that, you’re on your way. Develop a positive, demanding and encouraging relationship and your people will go well beyond the extra mile. They’ll ‘do anything to have you be successful’ and you’ll never look back!

 Post your questions in the comments section below, ask us on the Psychologies Facebook and Twitter page or email I’ll be posting regularly, answering your questions.

Judith Leary Joyce

Great Companies Consulting

In 1996 I made the shift into business, taking my knowledge of Gestalt Psychology into the realm of Executive Coaching, Facilitation and Leadership/ Management Development. In 2001 I worked on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list, then went on to write my first book Becoming an Employer of Choice which was followed by Inspirational Manager and The Psychology of Success. Since then I have worked with organisations across the sectors from large corporates through to young start ups, public sector and charities. Now it’s time to help you have a love affair with your work and get exactly what you want from your career. To find out more about my work and coaching go to