Coaching Success – What makes for a good manager?
It’s an important question. Because when you invest, ultimately you’re trusting management with your money. Whether you’re investing in stocks, bonds, or real estate, how effective the boss is can determine what kind of return you get.
When I look back, my best bosses were less concerned with command-and-control and more into mentoring; less leading by telling and more leading by showing. Top managers weren’t commanders so much as they were coaches. And what makes a good coach can make a good supervisor.
And what makes a good coach? Three things: they lead, they’re proficient, and they care. Leadership is job one. A leader gets people to follow, if only out of curiosity. Leaders identify problems and run towards them, in a disciplined way. A great coach knows what the problems are and has a plan to address them.
They’re proficient. Coaches need to know the game—where it’s been, and where it’s going. When Billy Bean looked at baseball a decade ago, he saw that a new kind of statistical analysis turn a losing franchise around. Top coaches know the necessary skills and they’re not afraid to impart those skills to those under their direction.
And they care. Great coaches care personally for their athletes. Yes, the team’s performance is paramount, but a team is made up of individuals, each with his or her own goals and concerns. Great coaches can tell when something’s up, because they’re totally committed to see these individuals succeed, both as athletes and as people.
Growing up I was privileged to have a great coach. His leadership, proficiency, and care made me a better athlete and a better person. His team became a world-class organization because of him. Great managers can also accomplish great things.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Follow me on Twitter @tengdin