How to Be the Kind of Manager People Respect


True leaders are rare finds.

Empty desk space after hours

In the event you’ve recently been promoted to manager, or even if you’ve been leading staff for years, it’s always wise to review the way you build and grow relationships with those working for you. To get a feel for the kinds of traits that all great bosses share, we asked three industry heavyweights what leadership looks like to them.

Marissa Senzaki
Senior Corporate Recruiter, Slack

“I’ve probably only had a handful of good managers in my career, but I’ve worked with many great leaders. Leadership should not be synonymous with management. You can be an effective manager, but not necessarily embody a sense of leadership. Likewise, you can be an inspirational leader, but not necessarily a strong manager. Leadership is an innate characteristic and you don’t need a manager title to be a true leader.

“[A successful leader is] able to display vulnerability and can admit when they’re wrong, because they’re not overwhelmed by ego.”

“From my own experience, a successful leader is a natural people person who can build, maintain and grow relationships. Leaders are authentic and genuine, at their core. They’re able to display vulnerability and can admit when they’re wrong, because they’re not overwhelmed by ego. Instead, they’re able to think and act with empathy. In being able to empathise with others, they’re also able to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and position people appropriately on a path to success.”

Damian Griffiths
Founder & CEO, Doughnut Time

“Leadership is intuition, less talking and taking action. It’s easy enough to conceptualise and talk about grand ideas, though none of this means anything if you can’t put these plans into action. It’s important to have the ability to identify talent, assemble a team and be able to delegate accordingly in order to get things moving.

“Leadership is intuition, less talking…”

“My staff mean everything to me and you can’t have a great team without motivation and strong morale. I’m not the kind of leader who wants to be invisible. You’ll find me there, day in, day out, in the trenches. My staff can approach me and talk to me. The foundation of the hospitality industry
is the people and I want them to share in the successes because they’re what make my businesses great.”

Hamish Tame
Creative Director, Le Specs

“Mum always said to treat others the way you want to be treated, and for me leadership is no different. Humility, listening and leading by example are key when it comes to working with, and inspiring, a team. Teams are like a delicate ecosystem, where a wrong decision or a bad attitude can throw everything and everyone into disarray.

“Being willing to get your hands dirty and do any job at any time will earn the respect of your team.”

“Listening closely to what team members have to say can quickly sort out any problem and will also help to keep balance and order. Being willing to get your hands dirty and do any job at any time will earn the respect of your team, so you can build better working relationships together. As humans we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but with fair leadership we all have the opportunity for personal growth and happiness in the workplace.”

Read More: 10 Design Tools Your Startup Needs

This article first appeared in Collective Hub Issue 44. Buy it here.

Collective Hub Issue 44

Nicole Webb

Staff Writer Collective Hub

Nicole is a Sydney based writer, who’s previously written for Harper’s Bazaar and Elle Australia. She has mused about everything from the world of haute couture, the Sydney music scene and newly founded start-ups.


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