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My Q&A with Dean Gualco: What it Means to be a Good Manager in Today’s Workplace

I recently spoke with Dean Gualco, human resources manager and author of The Good Manager:  A Guide for the Twenty-First Century Manager, a book that focuses on how managers have gone from being respected in society and trusted by their employees to the source of blame for many workplace problems today.

Gualco rallies against this new view of managers, and lays out six attributes that he thinks are essential to being a good manager: Like What You Do, Knowledgeable, Solid Organizational Skills, Work Hard, Make Work Fun, and Be a Good Person.

During our discussion, he also shared his thoughts on everything from why employees view managers’ jobs as less stressful than their own, to the growing tendency to blame managers when things go awry, to the role managers play in their employees’ development, to the one thing managers can start doing today to become better managers.

Below is the Q&A -- simply click the “Play” button within each to hear Gualco’s answer to my question.

Q: What is the most important aspect of being a manager?

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Q: Do you think many managers today are unqualified?

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Q: What do you think is the most commonly lacking managerial attribute?

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Q: Do you have any suggestions for how managers could make work more fun?

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Q: What’s one thing managers can start doing today to become better managers?

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Q: Why do you think employees tend to view a manager’s job as less stressful than their own?

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Q: How can employees and managers work together to understand each others’ roles?

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Q: How can managers prevent themselves from becoming less effective due to boredom in their roles?

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Q: You mention in your book that it baffles you that many people aren’t in jobs they love. People may argue that they can’t find a job they love in a tough market. What do you say to them?

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Q: How can workers stay competitive in their jobs in such a competitive marketplace?

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Q: How are managers responsible for their employees staying competitive and continuously learning in their roles?

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Q: Have you seen a lot of change in the role of a manager over the last few years, with the recession and a changing market?

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Amy McDonnell

About Amy McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the creative services manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
5 comments
Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for your comment. You can actually post things like this on our CareerBuilder Forums -- http://forums.careerbuilder.com/. In addition, you can always contact Customer Service for job seekers.

Lastly, have you tried saving your job searches? (Once you do a search, simply click on "Save this Search" in the upper right-hand corner). It might be the easiest way for you to organize your jobs -- that way, you just put in your criteria, save, and it's there for you. You can even set up job alerts to get new matching jobs e-mailed right to you.

To set up Job Alerts (just register or sign in first): http://bit.ly/aeVBVn

Hope this helps!

And, Josh, thanks for your well-advised response. You beat me to it!

Best,
Amy

Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for your comment. You can actually post things like this on our CareerBuilder Forums -- http://forums.careerbuilder.com/. In addition, you can always contact Customer Service for job seekers.

Lastly, have you tried saving your job searches? (Once you do a search, simply click on "Save this Search" in the upper right-hand corner). It might be the easiest way for you to organize your jobs -- that way, you just put in your criteria, save, and it's there for you. You can even set up job alerts to get new matching jobs e-mailed right to you.

To set up Job Alerts (just register or sign in first): http://bit.ly/aeVBVn

Hope this helps!

And, Josh, thanks for your well-advised response. You beat me to it!

Best,
Amy

Josh
Josh

Hello Wanda,

Actually, some "temp agencies" do provide "real" jobs. I have employees who work for me (at a healthcare staffing company) who have worked for us 10 years+, receive full benefits and better wages than a "real" job. It's hard to argue with a position like that.

Also, in the future you might put this before more appropriate eyes by calling CB Job Seeker customer service at (866) 438-1485 or in the CB Suggestions forum at http://forums.careerbuilder.com/forum/15.

Best of luck in your job search!

-Josh

Josh
Josh

Hello Wanda,

Actually, some "temp agencies" do provide "real" jobs. I have employees who work for me (at a healthcare staffing company) who have worked for us 10 years+, receive full benefits and better wages than a "real" job. It's hard to argue with a position like that.

Also, in the future you might put this before more appropriate eyes by calling CB Job Seeker customer service at (866) 438-1485 or in the CB Suggestions forum at http://forums.careerbuilder.com/forum/15.

Best of luck in your job search!

-Josh

Wanda Lantzsch
Wanda Lantzsch

I found nowhere else to post any comments in regards to the careerbuilders job site, so I'm posting here. The home page site of careerbuilder needs a place where you can post comments in regards to the site and the experiences of your job applicants. I am not searching your manager positions, I am searching clerical and records positions. When I find something I want to apply to, I am sometimes not allowed back to the original list I was searching from. You need to fix this, as I put in different search criteria and can't always remember which criteria I was searching in at that time. You also need to weed out these schools. They will put an add in as if it is a real job, but all it is is advertisement for some educational job and is a false job advertisement and a scam. These shouldn't be allowed on job sites. I don't want to go back to school as I have already done that for 1-1/2 years and it has not done me any good whatsoever in bettering my chances of finding employment. Also, these temp agencies are not true jobs. These need to be eleminated from the site as well unless there is a valid job offer and they can prove this.
Thank you

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