5 steps to create managers who are inspiring team leaders

- February 19, 2018 4 MIN READ


The true measure of a manager lies within their leadership abilities. But, most people believe leaders are a result of nature, not nurture. COO of national real estate franchise Stockdale and Leggo, Anna Thomas disagrees.

Leaders are created, not born. To think otherwise keeps managers from stepping up their game and thinking as visionaries. With proper training and resources, your organisation’s managers can inspire and lead their talent to great heights.

In order to achieve this, you need to “manage your managers”. Coaching them is absolutely imperative if you want to give them the best chance to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

There are a lot of managers to be found these days. The thing is, what you and your staff really need are leaders. If you want to shape your company’s leadership style and create forward thinking people who drive the success of your business, I believe in the below five strategies which have worked for me in both past and present roles.

manage your managers

  1. Show them the Difference

A manager sees things as they are, but a leader has the vision to see what might be. A manager who simply maintains will have little positive impact on your business. In fact, they may be detrimental. By carefully investing your time in building up innovative leaders who will take your company and team to the next level, you will be continually rewarded.

As a result, we have developed and implemented a leadership program for our Principals called P3, which stands for People, Process and Performance. This program has been produced to provide our Principals with greater resources to improve the quality of their leadership – teaching them to ‘lead the way’ through personal example which is best illustrated through actively searching for new ideas, tips and strategies to improve performance.

In my opinion, management is the duty of tasks and compliance, whereas leadership is deeply rooted in action. You have to be a guiding force to help change the “manager mindset” so they can begin to act and think as leaders. Keep the focus on strategic issues of growth and collaboration, and teach your managers how to anticipate change in a fast-paced market.


  1. Establish Goals You Both Want to Achieve

Sit down with your management team individually and discuss the goals and vision of your business. Your managers need to align with this vision. It’s important to strategise how they will implement goals, and make sure you support them along the way.

Ask them about their goals. Are they realistic and achievable? Work with them if you need to, and be specific about what you want them to accomplish. If your management have a detailed plan they will be better equipped to deliver on your expectations.

I’ve been personally working with one of our offices who have three Directors for the last 12 months, coaching them on their goals and holding them accountable to achieving them. As a result, they now feature regularly in our Top 10 Offices each month which is a great achievement for the team.

  1. Cultivate a Leader, not a Persona

It’s not about looking the part – real leaders have substance! Encourage your managers to try new activities and projects, engage with different people, and work out new strategies for accomplishing tasks. This will give them a fresh perspective and the ability to reflect on the results of their actions.

Give your manager the opportunity to become self-aware and enact their purpose as a leader. A superficial figure will not be the kind of person people follow. Self-knowledge is a tool to inspire, energise and empower others.

Help them authentically assess their strengths and play to them. This will equip them to make the right decisions for your business and bolster the performance of the whole team.

  1. Teach them to coach

Talented staff members are searching for managers who can coach them on their path to success. Leaders are seen on the floor, engaging with their people. They care about their staff, have time for questions, and exercise interpersonal influence.

Coach your managers to think and act like leaders by ensuring they connect with their staff and guide them for the better. They need to show they value the people, and by doing so will gain trust. Just as they need their team’s trust, you must trust your managers. Don’t second guess them. Have their back when they make mistakes. Be the example of the coach you want them to be.

  1. Ongoing training and support

Operate an open door policy. Your managers should do the same. Offer leadership training programs and seminars, and share your resources. For example, if you have leadership books lend them out. Education is paramount.

We hold an annual Leadership Retreat for our Principals to learn from some of the brightest business and real estate minds in Australia in a supportive environment away from their offices so they can focus and apply the theory directly to their businesses. This has been a real game changer for our business and something we will commit to long term.

With a complete mentoring, monitoring and training focus you will have sculpted a leader from a manager – someone who will be able to propel your business forward into new arenas, and think outside the realm of old patterns. Just remember to set the example in everything you do.

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