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?
Q: Do you think many managers today are unqualified?
Q: What do you think is the most commonly lacking managerial attribute?
Q: Do you have any suggestions for how managers could make work more fun?
Q: What’s one thing managers can start doing today to become better managers?
Q: Why do you think employees tend to view a manager’s job as less stressful than their own?
Q: How can employees and managers work together to understand each others’ roles?
Q: How can managers prevent themselves from becoming less effective due to boredom in their roles?
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?
Q: How can workers stay competitive in their jobs in such a competitive marketplace?
Q: How are managers responsible for their employees staying competitive and continuously learning in their roles?
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?