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June 20, 2017, by Jackie Thompson

The Fundamentals of Great Management and Leadership

For many Nottingham graduates, managerial and leadership roles await in the coming years. So, knowing exactly what attributes are needed to fulfil these roles should already be of interest to you.

Firstly, let’s explore the two roles, manager and leader. They are often interchanged but it is important to know the differences between them.

The role of a manager is task-orientated. Someone who oversees projects and deadlines in a to-do list manner. On the other hand, a leader is responsible for inspiring colleagues to get behind them while setting, or contributing to, the strategic direction and vision of their organisation.

Here are the fundamental qualities of great managers and leaders.


1. Organisation

This may seem like a given but it is paramount nonetheless. A good manager, like a good student, must be organised and good at time management. Check out the Urgent / Important matrix; this is a great, simple tool that helps to prioritise tasks effectively.

2. Delegation

Delegation is a key skill but it isn’t as simple as just flinging tasks at people. There can be up to seven steps to successful delegation.

3. Collaboration

Adopting a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude is not the best approach to building high-performing teams. Inviting your team to express opinions and ideas will lead to increased innovation, employee engagement and achievement of objectives.

4. Adaptability

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and unexpected issues can arise. A good manager must be able to adapt to any situation. We recommend practising mindfulness techniques to help keep the mind calm even during challenging situations.

5. Strategy

Interpreting strategy into achievable action is key to the success of any management role. Managers then need to collaborate with their teams to agree objectives. Current thinking promotes focussing on one key element of a strategy at a time. The One Thing, by Gary W. Keller & Jay Papasan, 2013, comes highly recommended.


1. Vision

A great leader will have a crystal-clear vison. After all, you have to know what you are driving for. Leaders don’t necessarily know how to implement the vision but that’s why they should surround themselves with good people who can.

2. Communication

Not only should a leader have vision, but they should know exactly how to articulate that vision to those around them. As it is they who will be working to bring the vision into fruition.

3. Inspiration

You’ve got to be able to communicate your vision with energy and vitality. Your employees should want to go above and beyond to achieve goals because they want to, not because they have to. Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk about How Great Leaders Inspire Action is definitely one to watch

4. Accessibility

Good leaders must be accessible to those that work with them. Gone are the days of hierarchy and ivory towers!

5. Honesty

Honesty builds trust. Without hidden agendas, everyone knows where they are. Reputations are built on strong integrity.

If you want to talk to an adviser about your career ideas, you can book an appointment to take place in person or by telephone. Please call us on +44 (0) 115 951 3680 or email

The writer of this blog Kasmin Cooney (OBE) is the CEO of Righttrack Consultancy; a company which has been providing bespoke Management and Leadership Training to both national and international businesses for nearly thirty years. 

Posted in Employer Insights